With a bachelor’s in music in piano performance from Université Laval and a master’s in performing-arts administration from New York University, Esther invests herself in her work at a rhythm that matches her passion for cultural endeavours. Perceptive and attentive, she is dedicated to accompanying artists in their work in concrete, helpful ways through customized services to meet their needs. Curious by nature, she finds inspiration in art, travel and the outdoors. Over the years, she has developed an extensive international network. She loves to bring people together and takes great satisfaction in initiating artistic and intellectual encounters between people.
She facilitates strategic-planning reflection processes and exercises, helping guide companies and individual artists in reaching their audience-development goals. She also programs and leads professional workshops, panel discussions and meetings of all kinds.
Her experience in international tours and her desire to pass the torch to a new generation led her, in collaboration with CINARS (International Exchange for the Performing Arts), to develop a training seminar on the issues around and strategies for internationally touring the performing arts. The training has already been offered in Quebec City, Montreal, Switzerland, Japan and Mexico.
Her institutional clients include the City of Quebec, the Quebec minister of culture and communications, the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec (CALQ), Canada Council for the Arts, International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM), Place des Arts, and International Exchange for the Performing Arts (CINARS).
She was Executive Director for Les Violons du Roy from 2002 to 2005.
She also worked as an international affairs advisor at the Quebec Ministry of International Relations for many years. As such, she was part of the founding team of Quebec–New York 2001. Her achievements as cultural attaché at the Québec Government House in New York between 1993 and 1999 received praise and awards.
She is the pianist and musical director for Norge, a co-production of Théâtre Humain and Théâtre du Trident. Her interpretations of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces also provided the soundtrack to Bernard Émond’s 2018 film Pour vivre ici.
From 2005 to 2009, Esther was a town councillor of Sainte-Pétronille, Île d’Orléans. Always involved in her community, she is currently serving on the board of the circus company Machine de cirque.
Music has always been a part of Esther’s life. Her grandmother, a talented pianist, accompanied the silent films of her era. She would have, without a doubt, had a prominent artistic career had it not been for that generation’s tradition of women focusing on the home instead of a career. Nevertheless, she passed on her passion and talent to her granddaughter, Esther, and watched over her musical progress from a young age.
Young Esther practiced the piano; participated in music contests; did summer music camps; and developed lifelong friendships with flutists, singers and dancers.
In 1986, she received her bachelor’s in music in piano performance from Université Laval. Then she moved to New York City to study performing-arts management at New York University, starting a new chapter during which she stopped playing the piano.
Twenty-five years later, life brought an unexpected gift. Kevin McCoy, the artistic director of Théâtre Humain, invited Esther and her piano to join him onstage to help tell the autobiographical story of his grandmother. That was the beginning of Norge.
Since then, Norge has received wide acclaim from the press and audiences in Quebec City, Montreal, and across the province of Quebec. In April 2018, Esther packed Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces in a suitcase and headed off to France with Norge.
This unforeseen, magical return to music had a significant impact on Esther’s artistic journey. Though it started with theatre, her path took an equally surprising turn toward cinema, thanks to filmmaker Bernard Émond, who had seen Norge and later contacted her to record the exquisite, evocative Nordic melodies for his film Pour Vivre Ici.