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.
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.
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.
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.