Marie-Hélène Breault, as a flutist, specializes in performance of 20th- and 21st-century music. As a soloist and chamber musician, she distinguished herself by her performances of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s works and in premiering works by Taylor Brook, Evelin Ramon, Katia Makdissi-Warren, Gabriel Dharmoo, Andrew Staniland, Emily Hall, René Orea, Analía Llugdar and Martijn Voorvelt. Her repertoire also includes works by Edgard Varèse, Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Gilles Mottet, Tōru Takemitsu, Gilles Tremblay, Denis Gougeon, and Yves Daoust, to name but a few. She also composed pieces with composers Katia Makdissi-Warren and Martin Bédard and with dancer and choreographer Annie Gagnon.
Along with contemporary music, she also touches on classical repertoire and improvisation in various projects, notably with pianist Pamela Reimer, with whom she has a duo. She performs regularly with Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) and with Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+). Over the years she played with Erreur de type 27 (E27), Sixtrum, OktoÉcho, Codes d’accès, Innovations en concert, Jeunesses musicales du Canada and with the musical orchestras of Les Misérables (Productions Le Capitole de Québec, 2008-2010) and Mary Poppins (Just for Laughs, 2016-2017). She also presented several concerts and conferences abroad, including Mexico, Europe and the United States.
Marie-Hélène Breault is a graduate of the Conservatoire du Québec (Prize with great distinction, 2000) and Yale University (Artist Diploma, 2002). Her main flute teachers were Jean C. Morin, Lise Daoust and Ransom Wilson. She also studied with Raymond Guiot, Alain Marion, Emmanuel Pahud, Philippe Bernold and Kathinka Pasveer in summer academies.
Marie-Hélène Breault is also active as a researcher. In 2005, she completed a doctorate in performance (D. Mus.) under the direction of Lise Daoust at Université de Montréal on the works for flute from Stockhausen’s Samstag aus Licht’s opera. Then, in 2013, she completed a doctorate in musicology (Ph. D.) under the direction of Michel Duchesneau and Caroline Traube at Université de Montréal on the performer-researcher’s role in musical creation and re-creation.
In 2013-2015 she has done researches on collaborative and multidisciplinary creation, at Matralab at Concordia University under the supervision of composer and scenic director Sandeep Bhagwati, and supported by a Fonds québécois de recherche Société et Culture (FRQSC) postdoctoral research-creation grant.
Over the years she won various awards as a flutist, researcher or composer including the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS)’ Prix Desjardins for student-researcher (2007), an appointment on the dean’s honor list for her doctorate in performance (2005), and two performance prizes at the Stockhausen-Kürse (2004 and 2006). Several concerts she participated in as soloist or producer were finalists or prize-winners at the Prix Opus of the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM). Replica, an acousmatic work she co-authored with composer Martin Bédard, was finalist in Città di Undine (Italy) and Métamorphose (Belgium) international composition competitions (2014 editions). She also received several grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Canada Council for the Arts (CAC).
In 2008-2013 she was artistic director and general manager of E27, a contemporary music concert producer based in Quebec City. During her tenure, she organized and directed about 15 productions in various contexts, among other things, programs in conjunction with art exhibitions at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, theatralized concerts, and lecture recitals in cafes. In October 2013 she was nominated president of its board of directors. She served on the boards of directors of Codes d’accès (2006-2007), CQM (2010-2012), Société québécoise de recherche en musique (SQRM) (2014-2015) and Groupe Le Vivier (2015-2016). She has also been administrative director of SQRM (2015-2019).
Marie-Hélène Breault now teaches flute at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).