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 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, Toru Takemitsu, Gilles Tremblay, Denis Gougeon, and Yves Daoust, to name but a few. She performs regularly with Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) and with Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) and she also touches on classical repertoire and improvisation in various projects, notably with pianist Pamela Reimer, with whom she has a duo. Over the years she played with Jeunesses musicales du Canada, Innovations en concert, OktoÉcho, Codes d’accès, and Sixtrum. She also co-authored pieces with composers Katia Makdissi-Warren (2012) and Martin Bédard (2013).
Marie-Hélène Breault is also active as a researcher. In 2005, she completed a doctorate in performance 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 PhD in musicology 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. Supported by a FRQSC postdoctoral research-creation grant she is currently pursuing her research on the application of theatre’s creative modes to the field of music at Matralab at Concordia University under the supervision of composer and scenic director Sandeep Bhagwati. Through this project, she touches on improvisation and composition, while studying various research subjects such as the interpretative/performative perspective in research-creation, collective and collaborative creation, and performing arts—especially music—curation.
In 2008-13 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.
Marie- Hélène Breault is also a graduate of the Conservatoire du Québec (Prize with great distinction, 2000) and Yale University (Artist Diploma, 2002). Over the years she received several grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and won various awards including the 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). She presented several concerts and conferences abroad, including Mexico, France and the USA, and served on the boards of directors of Codes d’accès (2006-07) and CQM (2010-12).