The Canadian soprano, Pauline Vaillancourt, studied first with Guy Lepage at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec (CMQ), then with Louise André at the University of Montreal, graduating with Master of Music in 1976.
Pauline Vaillancourt made her debut as a soloist and recitalist in 1970. She has enjoyed a remarkable career in Canada and Europe. Although she specializes in avant-garde music, she also has pursued a career in the classical repertoire. She has sung the Mozart Requiem and the J.S. Bach Magnificat (BWV 243) with the orchestra of the Institut des arts au Saguenay, George Frideric Handel's Messiah with the CMQ orchestra (1970), Johannes Brahms' German Requiem with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (May 1977) and the Kingston and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestras (1978), and Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate and Vesperae solennes and G.F. Handel's Messiah with the Orchestre des pays de la Loire (France 1985). Vaillancourt is frequently engaged by the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), the CBC, the Atelier-laboratoire of the University of Montreal, and Événements du neuf, and she is also a member of Gropus 7.
A much sought-after performer, Pauline Vaillancourt has premiered several works, including Orange by Pierre Trochu (Toronto, 1973), Lettura di Dante and Liebesgedichte by Claude Vivier (SMCQ, 1974-1975), ... chant d'amours by Serge Garant (CBC, 1975), Arabesco by José Evangelista (Spain, 1975), Three Songs of the Holocaust by Marvin Duchow (Montreal, 1978), Les Vêpres de la Vierge by Gilles Tremblay (Sylvanès, France 1986) and La Porte by Evangelista (Événements du neuf, 1987). She has also brought to the stage works by such diverse artists as Georges Aperghis, Serge Nigg, Michael Finnissy, Sylvano Bussotti, and Bruce Mather. Highlights include her work with noted directors Antoine Vitez in Paris, Pierre Audi in London, and Gilles Maheu of Montréal’s theater company Carbone 14. She has also sung with a number of contemporary groups, including the Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Itinéraire, and 2e2m in Paris, Gropus 7 (numerous 'collective creations'), Arraymusic Ensemble, Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), and Nouvel ensemble moderne (NEM) in Canada.
In April 1975, accompanied by the pianist Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt (her brother), Pauline Vaillancourt made a recital tour in Spain organized by the Caja De Ahorros. Her striking abilities as a soloist and improviser are demonstrated on a recording made with Dionne and Brégent in March 1976. From 1976 to 1980 she was a member of TRIO 3 with the guitarist Michael Laucke and the flutist Sayyd Abdul Al-Khabyyr. She took part in the SMCQ European tour in 1977. In 1983 she began to divide her time between Paris and Montreal. She has appeared at various festivals in Europe and North America, including those in Montpellier, Angers, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Paris,, Strasbourg, Valencia, London, and Buffalo. In 1989 in Montreal she founded and became artistic director of Chants libres, a company of lyric improvisation. In the course of her career, she has received the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Flandre-Québec prize for contemporary music performance.
Pauline Vaillancourt has made several compact disc recordings, most recently on the Amberola, Sonarte, SNE, and Port-Royal labels. She has also recorded for Radio-France, BBC, and Société Radio-Canada.