Recognized as an exceptional percussion musician, Marie-Josée Simard amazes with her virtuosity and the scope of her musical imagination, and seduces by the sparkling intelligence of her interpretations. After giving many concert performances in Mexico, Paris, New York, Poland and Belgium, and touring Korea and China, she has won a national and international reputation for excellence.
Marie-Josée Simard's art inspires the collaboration of many renowned composers, who regularly pen new works for her. Among those composers are Denis Gougeon, Clermont Pépin, Michel Longtin, Pierre Max Dubois, Jacques Hétu, Maya Badian, Joanna Bruzdowicz, Serge Arcuri, Alain Thibault, Gilles Bellemare, Rachel Laurin, Pétros Shoujounian, François Dompierre, Tim Brady, Ricardo Lorenz and Charles Papasoff.
One of her career highlights was representing Canada in 1992 at the Benefit Gala of the New York Metropolitan Opera. She has performed as a soloist with, notably, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal I Musici Ensemble, and the Poznan String Ensemble (Poland).
During the 2001-02 season, she went on an eight-concert tour in Quebec, with the Violons du Roy Chamber Orchestra. On that occasion, she performed the "Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone" by Rachel Laurin, composed for her. For five years she was the percussionist for the Bradyworks Ensemble, with whom she gave over forty concerts across Canada.
As a professor of percussion at the Montreal Music Conservatory, Ms. Simard is a regular jury member at the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council, and the Conseil québécois de la musique. Her recordings include "L'Aube enchantée", with flutist Lise Daoust (Atma ACD 22115); "Marie-Josée Simard", in works by Longtin, Miki, Tremblay, Brady (SNE 572-CD); "Marie-Josée Simard", in works by Marcello, Dompierre, Stockhausen, Bartok (RCI 638); "Marie-Josée Simard", in works by Bach, Bartok, Shostakovitch and others (Percudisq P 229).
Initiated to the vibraphone at the age of eleven, Marie-Josée Simard studied at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, where in 1979 a unanimous jury verdict made her the first woman to win First Prize for Percussion. She later developed her orchestral timpani and percussion talents, in London, under the direction of James Blades and Michael Skinner. She eventually specialized in the four-drumstick marimba technique, in New York, with virtuoso Leigh Howard Stevens. Marie-Josée Simard has been a Yamaha artist since 1991.