Valérie Milot is a musician with the soul of a rebel. Full of initiative and a hard worker, she places the harp centre-stage in unexpected ways and devotes herself with equal passion to her various roles as concertist, producer, professor and mother.
Whether through the pure tradition of classical music or through her innovative productions such as Orbis, a performance blending music and digital art, Valérie seeks to make music accessible. Her recordings are a tangible example of her range: they extend from concertos by Mozart and Haendel with Les Violons du Roy under the baton of Bernard Labadie to a transcription of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for electric guitar. Solo is her ninth opus and the first to be released under her own label, Anémone 13.
A sought-after soloist, Valérie performs in numerous concerts with prestigious orchestras across Canada and abroad, among them the Orchestre métropolitain de Montréal (under maestros Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Julian Kuerti), Les Violons du Roy (under maestros Bernard Labadie and Mathieu Lussier) and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (under maestro Bernard Labadie).
A musician of her time, Valérie has also built a solid reputation on the Internet. Active on various media, she stands out through her performances, such as her interpretation of The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana, which has received more than one million views on YouTube. Her adaptation for the Delta electric harp of the legendary progressive rock group King Crimson’s Discipline has also earned her great praise, including from Robert Fripp, one of the group’s founding members.
Valérie is equally dedicated to passing on her art. As a harp and chamber music teacher at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, amongst others, Valérie enjoys her special relationship with her students, who are the focus of her attention.
Recognized by her peers and the public, Valérie has been awarded numerous prizes. In 2008, she won the Prix avec Grande Distinction upon graduating from the Conservatoire, where she studied under Caroline Lizotte, and followed this up with the prestigious Prix d’Europe. She is in fact the first harpist in almost 100 years to have won this bursary, which enabled her to study in New York under Rita Costanzi. She went on to win many other prizes: Radio-Canada’s Revelation of the Year, a performance prize at the International Harp Competition of the Cité des Arts de Paris, the Young Soloist Prize of the Radios Francophones Publiques, the Opus Award for Discovery of the Year, the Louis-Philippe-Poisson Performing Arts Award of the City of Trois-Rivières, the Prix Trois-Rivières sans frontière for her standing both nationally and internationally, the Création arts de la scène award (for Orbis) at the Arts Excellence de Culture Mauricie gala as well as several Adisq Gala and Opus Award nominations.
A native of Trois-Rivières and raised in a home filled with the music of Mozart, Valérie fell under the spell of the harp at the age of ten and has never wavered in her dedication to this beautiful instrument.
Nowadays, Valérie plays on an “Apollonia” harp, one of only thirteen in existence worldwide, crafted by the Italian luthier Salvi. This instrument, noted for its exceptionally powerful and rich sound, is graciously on loan to her from the Canimex company of Drummondville (Quebec / Canada), and belonging to the patron of the arts Roger Dubois.
© Élise Rivard / Joan McCordick 2020