Rémi Boucher, classical guitarist
Known around the world as one of the leading virtuosos of the guitar, Remi Boucher not only astonishes audiences with his incomparable technical abilities, but leaves them spellbound with his dazzling innovations on the instrument. His recitals not only feature some of the most demanding works ever written for the instrument, but through his innovations he has gained a reputation for performing complete works originally written for guitar and orchestra, on a solo instrument. Remi is regularly invited to perform all over the world, with tours taking him across the United States, Italy, China, Estonia, Russia, Korea, Mexico, Canada, Austria, Germany, Spain, and many other countries.
While on tour in Italy, Remi performed his complete arrangement for solo guitar of the famous Concierto de Aranjuez for Cecilia Rodrigo, the daughter of Joaquin Rodrigo, the composer of the piece. Remi received an invitation by the Canadian Governor General to perform a concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of India's independence. As a representative of Canadian artists, he was also invited by the President of India for a meeting between the two countries.
In addition to his many national and international prizes, in less than 18 months, Rémi Boucher established himself across Europe, America and Asia by unanimously winning the first prize in five of the most important international music competitions; “Alessandria” (Italy), “Andrès Segovia” (Palma de Mallorca, Spain), “Havana” (Cuba), “Mauro Guiliani” (Turin), and the “Fernando Sor” (Rome).
With his success on stage and in competition, Remi was invited to perform with many major symphonic orchestras, giving him the opportunity to perform the great guitar concertos and having the privilege to play under the direction of the famous Cuban composer Leo Brouwer.
His love and relationships with other cultures, and his interest in all kinds of instruments, has helped him to discover new technical possibilities on the guitar – which has allowed him to grow the capabilities of the instrument. A pioneer in that domain, he collaborates closely with composers to create a repertory that serves these new musical possibilities. To study these new techniques, Rémi has also created a series of his own compositions and a new technical method.
One of his most noted collaborations was for a new concerto for guitar and orchestra written by Canadian composer and pianist Jacques Marchaund. Having not written for the instrument, Marchaund relied heavily on the technical and musical advice of Remi during the compositional process. Remi’s insights into the existing techniques on the instruments, and his technical innovations helped propel this work to become one of the biggest and most impressive concerto ever composed for the classical guitar and symphonic orchestra.
After performing this piece in Austria, a reviewer wrote, “Rémi Boucher has no technical and musical limits”, and “Marchand's concerto was sub-titled "concerto for three hands..."!
His repertory includes all of the most famous guitar concertos, and the most interesting works for the solo guitar from the Renaissance to the present day. Inspired by many of the new techniques he has created for the instrument, Remi is also a noted composer for guitar. His compositions not only feature these innovative approaches to the instrument, but carry with them incredible melodies and set a dream-like atmosphere.
Rémi Boucher was born in the city of Abitibi-Témiscamingue in Québec,Canada. He studied classical guitar at the Montreal Conservatory with Jean Vallières. Afterwards, he completed additional studies in Spain, with the likes of J. Henriquez, J. L. Rodrigo, V. Mikulka, David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, in Belgium at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp with V. van Puijenbroeck, and in Switzerland at the Basel Academy with Oscar Ghiglia.
His time spent studying abroad would not have been possible without the generous support of the "Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec" and the Canada Council, which not only offered Remi many grants, but also awarded him the Sylva Gelber Award, making him the first guitarist in over 30 years to win this honour!
“Rémi Boucher has fire, passion, zest and poetry and he has them in spades. There is hope for the guitar when it is played like this...,” (Collin Cooper International Guitar Magazine, England).
Remi Boucher lives in Quebec City where he is a professor of guitar at the University of Laval, and at the Conservatory of Music in Quebec City.