© Frédérik Robitaille | LE FAR | 2018
Valérie Milot is a musician with the soul of a rebel. Full of initiative and a hard worker, Valérie places the harp centre-stage in unexpected fashions. Valérie brings 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 knows how to make music accessible. The eight albums she has recorded 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. Her ninth album will be released during spring 2020.
A sought-after soloist, Valérie performs in numerous concerts with prestigious orchestras across Canada and abroad. Recently, Valérie played in ten concerts with the Orchestre métropolitain de Montréal under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, among others, as "Soloist in residence" for the 2016-2017 season. She also toured with Les Violons du Roy, an ensemble with which she has had a special relationship since the start of her career, and conductor Mathieu Lussier. The 2018-2019 season has marked her debut as a soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, under the baton of 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.
Besides her soloist activities, Valérie has many collaborations with accomplices. Her chamber music projects include a duet with Stephane Tetreault, cellist, and a trio with Marianne Lambert, soprano and Mathieu Lussier, bassoonist. This last group explores classical French repertoire in a theatrical recital with humorous accents entitled “L’amant jaloux”. As a harp and chamber music teacher at the Montreal and Trois-Rivières Conservatories, 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, 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.
Born into a Trois-Rivières family in which her childhood was filled with the music of Mozart, Valérie fell in love with the harp at an early age and was only 10 years old when she decided to devote herself to this 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.
by Élise Rivard / Joan McCordick 2019
“The finesse in the dosages of the Valérie Milot - Violons du Roy partnership is unequaled. The most impressive is that our graceful harpist does not fret in front of the present master of the discipline: Xavier de Maistre. What a final with Boieldieu... and for eternity!” - Le Devoir (Christophe Huss)
“I must commend the musician for the accuracy and passion of her performance as well as her stamina in playing for a full hour without a break and without missing a single cue. Equally noteworthy are her originality and boldness in imparting this novel approach to a classical concert.” - La Tribune (Steve Bergeron)
“Valérie Milot is living proof that being a classical musician and having a rebellious spirit are entirely compatible. Throughout her performance in Orbis, the renowned harpist wields her instrument in ways you have probably never seen or heard.” - La Voix de l'Est (Isabelle Authier)
“In this most supple of accompaniments, we sense that conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin listens to his soloist and vice versa, and that the musicians are attuned to every signal from their maestro. Valérie Milot, for her part, once again demonstrated her great musicianship in this neo-classical concert.” - Sors-Tu? (Jeanne Hourez)
PRIZES AND DISTINCTIONS
• Opus Prize: Concert of the Year- Multiple Repertoires (2019)
• Nomination for a Félix at ADISQ Gala - « Classical - Soloist and small ensemble» category for the album Trios for violin, cello et harpe : Antoine Bareil, Stéphane Tétreault and Valérie Milot (2018)
• Arts Excellence Prize - Best creation in scenic arts for Orbis – Culture Mauricie (2018)
• Nomination for a Felix Prize at the Gala de l’ADISQ in the category “Classical - Orchestra et large ensembles” for the album Handel, Boieldieu, Mozart: Concertos pour harpe (2014)
• Trois-Rivières Sans Frontière Prize - Grands Prix Culturels - City of Trois-Rivières (2013)
• Nomination for a Felix Prize at the Gala de l’ADISQ in the category “Classical - Soloist and small ensembles” for the album V- Chamber Music for harp (2011)
• Nomination for a Felix Prize at the Gala de l’ADISQ in the category “Classical - Soloist and small ensembles” for the album Revelation – Harp Recital (2010)
• Young Soloist Prize for the Francophone Public Radios - France / Radio-France, Switzerland / Radio Suisse Romande, Belgium / RTBF and Canada / Radio-Canada (2009)
• Louis-Philippe-Poisson Prize for the performing arts in Trois-Rivières (2009)
• Opus Prize for the Discovery of the Year (2009)
• Révélation Radio-Canada (2009)
• Wilfrid-Pelletier Bursary (2008)
• Unanimous Grand Distinction Prize - Conservatoire de musique de Trois-Rivières (2008)
• 1st Prize for the Prix d’Europe (2008)
• Prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary piece at the International Harp Contest of the Cité des Arts de Paris (2008)
• 2nd Prize for the OSM Standard Life Contest and “Prize for the best interpretation of a Canadian work” (2007)
• Interpretation Prize for the “Salzedo Centannial Fund” at the American Harp Society National Competition (2005) 2 DISCOG