International Visiting Artist in Strings

Paul is curator and research director of The Montagu Music Collection at  Boughton House, Northamptonshire. This remarkably eclectic collection of rare music and dance from as early as the 16th century is being gradually brought back to life by performances of long-neglected works supported by the latest research. Buskaid, the inspirational music project from Soweto, recently performed music by Ignatius Sancho, an 18th Century African. Some of the early dance choreographies in the collection were brought back to life in the Great Hall by the Paris group “Les Corps Eloquents”. Further Boughton projects have included exhibitions on the Huguenots, Handel, “Vistas of Vast Extension” (and exploration of the garden’s history from 1577) and this year an intriguing look at “Memory” with an opening day performance on June 30th by The Aurora Orchestra.

Backed up by long experience as a performing violinist he has also brought top-level music-making into the lives of those who may not have had the opportunity to experience it. In 1998 he founded a scheme to bring music to state primary schoolchildren in London. Young Musicians at the Tabernacle has changed young lives over the years and opened the ears and hearts of many 8 – 11 year-olds to classical music through singing and instrumental workshops.

In 1993 he founded the Festival de St Agrève in a great barn high in the hills of the Ardèche, France. The festival has developed into an important cultural landmark of that remote region, attracting internationally renowned artists and a public ranging from local farmers to visitors from Lyon and Paris.

From 1979 – 2006 he toured the world as a violinist with groups including the English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Classical Players, London Sinfonietta and Hausmusik.  With pianist Melvyn Tan he founded the New Mozart Ensemble – a chamber orchestra and small ensemble which performed in halls from New York, Amsterdam and Berlin to Hong Kong, Glasgow and London.

His professional musical life began as a boy soprano working with Benjamin Britten and the English Opera Group in the operas A Midsummer Nights Dream, Burning Fiery Furnace and Curlew River. He also appeared on BBC TV as Amahl in the first UK broadcast of Menotti’s opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. Later, as a violinist, his studies took him to the Royal Academy of Music, the Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales, Montreux Switzerland, the Conservatoire de Genève and finally the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow on a British Council scholarship.

Paul Boucher was recently appointed International Visiting Artist in Strings at the Aureus Conservatory in Singapore.