Pauline Vaillancourt, soprano (b at Arvida [Jonquière], Qué 2 Feb 1945). Pauline Vaillancourt is a specialist in improvisation and avant-garde music. She has performed the work of several contemporary Canadian works composers (including Claude Vivier, Gilles TREMBLAY, Serge GARANT, André Prévost, Jean Piché, José Evangelista, Serge Provost, Zack Settel, Alain Thibault and Bruce Mather) and has performed widely from the more conventional classical repertoire. She is recognized as a versatile artist with superb acting skills and a riveting stage presence. The Vaillancourt family counts two other prominent performers: brother Jean-Eudes is an accomplished pianist, and sister Lorraine is artistic director and conductor of the NOUVEL ENSEMBLE MODERNE.
Vaillancourt studied in Québec City and Montréal and made her debut as a soloist in 1970. Since then she has appeared frequently in Québec and in Europe, notably in Paris, Strasbourg, London and Valencia. She has performed with numerous contemporary music groups, including 2E2M in Paris, ArrayMusic, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and Société de musique contemporaine, and has participated in many festivals in Europe and North America. She was the soloist in the world premiere performance of Gilles Tremblay's Les Vêpres de la Vierge in France in 1986. In Montréal Vaillancourt founded the lyric company Chants Libres in 1989. In 1985, Vaillancourt received the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton award from the Canada Council for the Arts, and in 1998 and 2000 she was awarded the Flandres-Québec Prize for excellence in contemporary music performance. In 2000 Vaillancourt performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Webern Festival of the Orchestre national de Lyon. She was the artist in residence at Montréal's Musée d'Art contemporain in 2000 and at the Québec studio in New York in 2002. Vaillancourt has recorded more than 14 albums for the CBC, BBC, Radio-France, and for the SNE, Amberola, Port-Royal, UMM, Ariane, Sonart and empreinte DIGITALes labels.
In 2009, Pauline Vaillancourt was made a CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE ambassador in recognition of her contribution to Canadian new music.