© 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 under the Analekta label 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.
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 will mark 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.
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.
A woman of heart, she is involved in a number of social causes, takes the time to meet groups of schoolchildren and seeks to pass on her experience by teaching. 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. 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.
“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)
“Bewitching, enchanting, fairy-like... The qualities are plenty to describe the harp, especially when played in such a divine way. But be careful, fairy Milot did warn us about her love for 20th century music, which is very present on her excellent album under the Analekta label (Revelation). The work is musically rich and the colors are plentiful. It is hard not to fall under the charm. Her interpretation of the Larghetto in the Handel Concerto had a perfect tonality and was played with an admirable maturity.” - Le Soleil (Pierre Dallaire)
“Her momentous playing is intense and puts you, whether you want it or not, in a state of attentive listening.” - Le Soleil (Richard Boisvert)
“Milot’s touch on the strings is effortless. She conjures both harp and notes away. They vanish on her fingertips. What pours out is pure musical perception, an instant crossover into the place the composer must have imagined before the first note was inked.” - The Chronicle Herald (Stephen Pedersen)
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PRIZES AND DISTINCTIONS
• 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 (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
• Orchestre Métropolitain - Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin (2017)
• Orchestre Métropolitain - Maestro Julian Kuerti (2016)
• Orchestra London Canada – Maestro Alain Trudel (2013)
• Thirteen Strings – Maestro Kevin Mallon (2013)
• Camerata Orford – Maestro Jean-François Rivest (2012)
• Les Violons du Roy – Maestro Eric Paektau (2011)
• Les Violons du Roy – Maestro Bernard Labadie (2010)
• Ensemble Appassionata – Maestro Daniel Myssyk (2009) RECITALS
• Salle Bourgie – Pro Musica Serie – Montreal, Canada (2014)
• Chapelle historique du Bon Pasteur – Montreal, Canada (2013)
• Burlington Performing Arts Centre – Ontario, Canada (2012)
• Studio Ernest-Ansermet – Geneva, Switzerland (2011)
• Jeunesses Musicales du Canada Tour (with Marie-Ève Poupart, violinist) - Eastern Canada (2010)
• Festival de Lanaudière (2009 and 2014)
• Festivoix – accompanying Marianne Lambert, soprano coloratura (2014)
• Festival d’été du centre Orford (2012)
• Festival des Harpes Camac – France (2011)
• Festival Internacional de Arpa de Río de Janeiro – Brazil (2011)
• Festival International du Domaine Forget (2010 à 2012)
• Festival d’été de la Maison Trestler (2009 and 2014)
• Fête de la Musique de Tremblant (2009 to 2013)
• Musique de chambre at Ste-Pétronille – Île d’Orléans (2009 and 2012)
• World Harp Congress - Amsterdam – Holland (2008)