Introduced to music at a very early age, Valérie Milot 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, she sensed an untamed energy in the instrument. As a young adult, she began to devote herself exclusively to her chosen instrument, developing a powerful playing style and bringing out its unexpected versatility. She went on to complete her studies at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montréal and Trois-Rivières, where she now teaches the harp since 2017 and 2015, respectively.
In 2008, Valérie Milot graduated magna cum laude from the Conservatoire and was awarded the Prix d’Europe. She was the first harpist in nearly 100 years to be awarded the scholarship, which enabled her to study in New York under Rita Costanzi. She went on to be nominated for and win numerous other prizes, including: 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 achievements both nationally and internationally, as well as three Gala ADISQ nominations.
Spectacular artistic successes have not left Valérie Milot resting on her laurels. To the contrary: she is working even harder on exploring new and innovative ideas, enriching her artistry and looking for new forums to express her talent. In 2017, she has given over 20 performances as a soloist with an orchestra including ten performances with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, where to which she was season’s Soloist-in-Residence for one season, under batons of Yannick Nézet-Seguin and Julian Kuerti. She also completed a concert tour across Québec and abroad with Les Violons du Roy and conductor Mathieu Lussier, as well as being guest soloist of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Opera i Filharmonia Podlaska in Poland (Maestro Pawel Kotla).
Valérie has recorded eight albums. In her seventh work, Orbis, she pushes the boundaries of her own style. Creating this project has allowed her to work with her most valued artistic partners and to venture boldly into a contemporary musical realm. A surprising repertoire and tremendous technical challenges give Orbis a refreshingly innovative flavour. The live multimedia concert series featuring music from the album has been met with great acclaim and rave reviews. The show is now presented on tour across Canada and abroad.
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 stays grounded by surrounding herself with her family, including her (slightly chubby) cats and, most importantly, her darling daughter Simone, who calls her “maman” – the sweetest sound in the world.