Trained in the United States and France, Louise Billaud studied under the guidance of her future husband, French-born American pianist and Steinway Artist, University of Alaska, Anchorage professor emeritus Jean-Paul Billaud. Through him she felt the influence of his former teachers: French Masters Marguerite Long, Jacques Février who studied under Maurice Ravel, Alfred Cortot, and Polish pianist Auguste de Radwan who had worked in Vienna with the famed Theodor Leschetizky, himself a student of Carl Czerny who was a student of Beethoven.
Along with academic degrees awarded with highest honors, she was laureate of several piano competitions. She took first prize in the Maxim Shapiro Memorial Piano Competition, second in the International Piano Recording Competition, first prize in the Bartók-Kabalevsky International Piano Competition and was semi-finalist in the International Web Concert Hall Competition. She was also honored with the Award for Exemplary Performance from Radford University.
She has performed in the United States and Europe in solo and lecture-recitals, chamber music, as soloist with orchestra and as featured artist in several music festivals in France. Having a special interest in diabetes research, Louise Billaud has taken recital programs on tour for the benefit of the American Diabetes Association.
Dr. Billaud is on the faculty of New River Community College in Southwest Virginia as Associate Professor teaching Music History, Music Fundamentals, and Music Appreciation in various formats to meet the needs of community college students and integrating her knowledge and world experience into the classroom, transporting her students through music to places beyond the boundaries of southwestern Virginia.
Her recordings include compact discs: "Louise Billaud" - a recital of works by Bach, Beethoven, Barber, Holliday, Rachmaninoff and Liapunov; “From Bartók to the Popol Vuh” - featuring piano music by 20th century composers Bartók, Kabalevsky, Petrassi and Holliday; “Passion” - consisting of works by Bach, Franck, Wagner-Liszt and Liszt. In addition, her successful lecture-recital entitled Mazeppa – An Inspirational Living Legend has been released and distributed in DVD format.
In 2005, Louise Billaud gave the première performance of the four-movement Sonata for Piano by American composer Kent Holliday written for and dedicated to her (see Music Reviews).
In 2009 her lecture-recital based on the Incantations from the Popol Vuh by Kent Holliday was enthusiastically received at the International Conference of the College Music Society in Zagreb, Croatia. In 2012, Louise Billaud presented research findings to the Adult & Community Music Education Special Research Interest Group (ACME SRIG) at the Music and Lifelong Learning Conference.
Louise Billaud earned a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in music education from Boston University. Her dissertation, “The Case of the Highlands Community Band: Structuration, Self-Determination, and the Promotion of Participation Beyond the Classroom,” was awarded as the Outstanding Dissertation from the National Association for Music Education ACME SRIG.
Dr. Billaud was presented with that award and communicated her research findings at the NAfME National Conference in
St. Louis in April of 2014. Boston University also conferred upon Louise Billaud a Departmental Honors Award for “garnered distinction” in her field of music and for making “exemplary contributions to the department, School of Music and the University.”
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) honored Dr. Billaud with the Commonwealth’s highest distinction for “excellence in teaching, research, knowledge integration, and public service.” Following a recognition by the assembled State Legislature, the Outstanding Faculty Award was bestowed February 20, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia and the State Board of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) recognized and honored her achievement at their May meeting in Richmond.