Rémi Bouchard, born on March 15, 1936 in Laurier, Manitoba, began his musical education with the “Presentation of Mary” nuns. After studying with Gerald Death in Neepawa, he undertook more advanced studies with Phyllis Holtby (piano) and A. A. Zimmerman (theory), in Winnipeg. In 1956 he began teaching piano in Neepawa where he still resides. In 1960 he received a piano teacher’s diploma from the University of Manitoba. A composer entirely self-taught, Bouchard is strongly influenced by French and English composers. The core of his work has always been a concern for, and commitment to, his environment. Variously described by critics as “melodically appealing,” “modestly scaled,” and “very tonal and spiritual,” his compositions reflect a continuous effort to express his impressions of his prairie homeland, deep in the centre of North America.
Bouchard’s compositions have been performed by learners and professionals all over the continent in festivals and recitals. His compositions are also included in the piano Syllabi of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Conservatory Canada and the Canadian National Conservatory. In November 1988 the prestigious U.S. magazine Clavier, commissioned two piano pieces for their journal.
Since 1990, Bouchard has continued to be published by several different publishers, the most recent one being Russell Publishing, a local firm (the owner probably being the youngest in Manitoba if not Canada). His body of 550 works is written mostly for piano students at all levels. He was an adjudicator during the 1990’s for the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals and gave workshops of his music across Canada during the 1990’s and up to the present time.
In 1998, the Manitoba Heritage Federation, Inc., recognized his work with a Heritage Publication Award. Conservatory Canada and the Canadian National Conservatory of Music honored him with a Licentiate in Pedagogy in 1999 and 2003 respectively. Recently in 2007, the local Rotary Club of Neepawa awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his accomplishments.
He is a member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’, SOCAN and has been an Associate Composer of The Canadian Music Centre since 1989.