Bassist Renaud Boucher-Browning is an active performer and teacher in his hometown, where he serves as principal bassist of the Boise Baroque Orchestra and as substitute bassist with the Boise Philharmonic. During the academic year, “Dr. B” directs three orchestras, two guitar classes, and teaches History of Rock & Roll at Centennial High School in the West Ada School District. In the summertime, Renaud coaches the bass section at the Idaho Orchestra Institute and serves as a string ensemble coach at the Boise State University Summer Chamber Music Camp.
Renaud fell in love with the sound of the double bass when the North Junior High School orchestra, led by Becky Prindle, performed an outreach concert at his elementary school. He vividly remembers how feeling the incredible resonance of the bass section through the gym floor inspired him to become a bassist. Renaud began taking bass lessons at age 10 with Jack Koncel, then principal bassist of the Boise Philharmonic. Later, at Boise High School, orchestra director Wendy Hartman nurtured Renaud’s creativity as a bassist, composer, and conductor.
Renaud holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in double bass performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas where he studied with Paul Ellison. At the Shepherd School, Renaud collaborated with a team of students to coordinate, program, and host outreach concerts for school-age children in the Just For U! Music Program (JUMP!). While studying in Houston, Renaud coached bass sectionals and taught bass lessons for the Houston Youth Symphony and served as bass consultant for the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In 2014, as a senior in college, Renaud appeared as soloist in a concerto by Johann Baptist Vanhal with the Boise Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Stern.
Renaud’s musical studies have taken him on many travels, made possible by two Wagoner Scholarships from Rice University and a Harriet Hale Wooley Scholarship from the United States Foundation in Paris. After a year of study in Paris, Renaud earned diplomas in performance and teaching from bass soloist François Rabbath. During a summer of study in London, Renaud observed bass pedagogue Caroline Emery teach at the Royal College of Music, the Yehudi Menuhin School, and Eton College. Renaud’s participation in the summer courses at the Festival Domaine Forget and the Orford Music Academy in Québec has shaped his ergonomic technique and his experiential approach to teaching music. Renaud has performed in the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany, the Orchestra of the Cité Internationale in Paris, and on period instruments in the Youth Orchestra of the Abbey in France under the direction of conductors including Ton Koopman, Laurence Equilbey, and Christoph Eschenbach.
Renaud holds a doctorate in double bass performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where he studied with Ali Yazdanfar, principal bassist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. As a recipient of a Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowship, Renaud conducted artistic research to learn to improvise cadenzas for the Classical concertos of Johannes Sperger (1750-1812) by reverse engineering the cadenza sketches in Sperger's manuscripts. Sperger performed his eighteen concertos on a five-stringed, fretted ancestor of the modern bass called the Viennese violone, whose unique tuning in thirds and fourths gives this music its beautiful resonance. Part of Renaud’s doctoral thesis research appears in an article in the Online Journal of Bass Research.
Renaud enjoys swimming laps and practicing Iyengar yoga to maintain his fitness as a musical athlete. In his free time, he teaches bass lessons, cultivates a garden, and plays board games.