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Valerie Milot: Bio

Choosing | Introduced to music at a very early age, Valerie studied the piano for several years before choosing the harp at the age of ten. Although to most people the harp evokes romanticism and delicacy, Valérie sensed in the instrument an untamed energy. As a young adult, she began to devote herself exclusively to her chosen instrument, developing a powerful playing style and bringing out its unsuspected versatility. She went on to complete her studies at the Montreal and Trois-Rivières Conservatories of Music, where she has taught the harp since 2015.

Shining | In 2008, Valérie graduated with great distinction from the conservatory and was awarded the Prix d'Europe. She was the first harpist in close to one hundred years to be awarded 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 Public Francophone Radios, the Discovery of the Year award at the Opus Prizes, 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, as well as three Adisq Gala nominations.

Rising to new heights | Having already captivated audiences at international venues and at prestigious festivals, Valérie is now clearly centre stage. In 2016/17, she will be giving more than twenty performances as a soloist with orchestra. In particular, she is this season's Soloist in Residence with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, with which she will be giving ten concerts at the Maison Symphonique as well as touring the island of Montréal with Yannick Nézet-Seguin and Julian Kuerti. At the same time, Valérie is continuing a concert tour throughout Quebec with Les Violons du Roy and conductor Mathieu Lussier (following the success of their concerto disc). She is also touring western Canada with violinist Antoine Bareil, with whom she has formed a new trio, joined by cellist Stéphane Tétreault.

Innovating | Valérie has recorded 7 discs on the Analekta label. In her latest work, Orbis, she pushes the boundaries of her style. Creating this project allowed her to work with her most valued artistic partners and to venture boldly into a contemporary musical language. A surprising repertoire and tremendous technical challenges give Orbis a refreshingly innovative flavour. Her performance dazzled the eyes as much as it enchanted the ears, thanks to the marriage of music and digital art.

Staying grounded | The pace of a professional musician's life can be dizzying. Valérie finds the balance she needs in the enjoyment of life's simple pleasures and in her deep attachment to her community. She gets her energy and sensibility from surrounding herself with her family, her (slightly chubby) cats and especially her darling Simone, who calls her "maman", which is the sweetest sound in the world.


Press excerpts

"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)

1 Concert Study in E flat minor  
2 Hindemith: Sonata for Harp I  
3 Hindemith: Sonata for Harp II  
4 Hindemith: Sonata for Harp III  
5 Renie: Marche funebre, Appassionata, Transfig.  
6 Ginastera: Milonga  
7 Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess  
8 Britten: Suite for Solo Harp / Overture  
9 Britten: Suite for Solo Harp / Toccata  
10 Britten: Suite for Solo Harp / Nocturne  
11 Britten: Suite for Solo Harp / Fugue  
12 Britten: Suite for Solo Harp / Hymn St. Denio  
13 Lizotte: La Madone  
14 Salzedo: Scintillation  
15 Albeniz: Spanish Suite No. 2  
Albeniz: Zaragoza - Valerie Milot harp/harpe
Cours de harpe 101 / 101 Harp Lesson
Old Friends - Hommage / Simon&Garfunkel
Cours de harpe 102 / 102 Harp Lesson

A talented and charismatic young artist; shimmering and mesmerizing sonorities; great works for harp by Ravel, Ginastera, Britten and Salzedo; a world premiere: Revelation, a new Analekta album featuring harpist Valerie Milot. Although the earliest harps we know about go back to Sumerian times, they were to remain rather unsophisticated until the 17th century, when Tyrolean instrument makers modified the tuning and added pedals, for modulation. This recital intends to illustrate the possibilities inherent in the instrument, its resonance, sonic volume and contrasts, as well as its particular effects.

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