Trained in the United States and France, Louise Billaud studied under the guidance of her future husband, French-born American pianist and Steinway Artist, professor Jean-Paul Billaud. Through him she felt the influence of his former teachers: French Masters Marguerite Long, Jacques Février, Alfred Cortot, and Polish pianist Auguste de Radwan who had studied in Vienna with the famed Theodor Leschetizky.
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.
Currently residing in Southwest Virginia, Dr. Billaud is on the faculty of New River Community College as Associate Professor.
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” - released in 2004 with works by Bach, Franck, Wagner-Liszt and Liszt.
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 addition, her successful lecture-recital entitled Mazeppa – An Inspirational Living Legend has been released and distributed in DVD format.
She has presented lecture-recitals featuring Mazeppa – An Inspirational Living Legend in Alaska, Virginia, and North Carolina as well as the award-winning Incantations from the Popol Vuh by Kent Holliday at the 2009 International Conference of the College Music Society in Zagreb, Croatia where it was enthusiastically received.
A 2011 and 2013 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award nominee, she was a featured guest for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities NPR radio program “With Good Reason” hosted by Sarah McConnell. Most recently Billaud presented research findings at the Music and Lifelong Learning Conference 2012 for an international audience representing the Adult & Community Music Education Special Research Interest Group.
Louise Billaud earned her doctoral degree, D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts) in Music Education from Boston University. Her dissertation, which took her into another realm of musical experience, was entitled, “The Case of the Highlands Community Band: Structuration, Self-Determination, and the Promotion of Participation Beyond the Classroom.”