Bouchard has led a successful double career as a composer and conductor, and brought deep originality and sensitivity to both fields.
In 1977, she went to the U.S. to study with Henry Brant at Bennington College and enrolled for further studies at the Manhattan School of Music. She then resided in New York City until 1991.
During the 1980s she devoted herself to composing, and produced many works including the orchestral piecesRead more Élan (1991) and Ressac (1991), a trumpet concerto Docile Demon (1986) and Fanorev (1986); vocal works such as the 40-minute Triskelion (1982) for soprano, tenor, baritone, and chamber ensemble, Cherchell (1982) for flute, violin, viola, piano, and narrator, and the 40-minute Minotaurus (1988) for narrator and chamber ensemble; and a multitude of chamber pieces with wonderful titles such as Delicate Contract (1988), Icy Cruise (1984), Ma Lune Maligne (1981), Muskoday (1988), Possible Nudity (1987), the aleatoric Pourtinade (1983), the Revelling of Men (1983) for trombone sextet and spatially separated string quintet, Rictus en Miroir (1985), Stormy Light (1981) for string quartet, and Tossing Diamonds (1983) for brass quintet.
From 1992 to 1995, she occupied the post of composer-in-residence for l'Orchestre du Centre National des Arts in Ottawa. She has also been composer-in-residence at the Camargo Foundation, at Yaddo and at the MacDowell Colony.
In 1995, Bouchard was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant for study in Italy. On June 15, 1996, she conducted the new ballet of l'Orchestre du CNA at the Festival Dance Canada. At the end of the same month, she directed her new work Pilgrim's Cantata at the Oregon Bach Festival, and created a new piece for the Kronos Quartet during that summer. Her music is characterized by innovative orchestral textures and timbral contrasts.
In 1997, she was awarded both the Opus prize from the Conseil Québécois de la Musique and the Joseph S. Stauffer prize from the Conseil des Arts du Canada. To date, she has composed about 50 works and recorded as conductor and composer on both coasts of the Atlantic.
In her career as an orchestra conductor, she has distinguished herself in several directions, centering on classical music, on interpretation of twentieth century music and on the opera and dance. She has appeared with numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York, Orchestre du Centre National des Arts (Ottawa), the Putman Symphony, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the American Dance Festival. She regularly directs the Essential Music ensemble in New York, the New Music Ensemble, and the New Music Consort of New York, and since 1990 has been the guest director for l'Atelier de Musique Contemporaine of the University of Montreal. From 1985 to 1988, she was the assistant conductor for the New York Children's Free Opera. She has also created effective arrangements and orchestrations for the Washington Ballet and the Orchestra of St. Luke's.
Presently, Bouchard is working on a musical theater composition inspired by Eduardo Galeano's Book of Embraces, film music for the Continuum Ensemble of Toronto, and a new composition for the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montreal). Read less
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