Emmanuelle Haïm began her career by studying piano with Yvonne Lefébure and then organ with André Isoir. She came to focus on the harpsichord, which she studied with Kenneth Gilbert and Christophe Rousset, and was awarded five first prizes at the Paris Conservatoire.
Specialising in vocal coaching, she was initially active at the Baroque music centre of the Studio Versailles-Opera and then at the CNSM in Paris. Since then, she has accompanied many leading singers in recital, among them Cecilia Bartoli, Natalie Dessay, Patricia Petibon and Sandrine Piau. As a continuo-player and musical assistant she spent time at a number of opera houses, acquiring an exceptional knowledge of the Baroque and Classical repertoire through her work with, among others William Christie, Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Harding.
In 2000 she gathered together a group of singers and instrumentalists to form Le Concert d'Astrée, an ensemble specialising in the Baroque repertoire and taking a natural and expressive approach to performance. The group now appears regularly at musical centres such as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Barbican Centre in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at numerous festivals around the world. Soloists who have appeared with Le Concert d'Astrée include Natalie Dessay, Ian Bostridge, Patrizia Ciofi, Susan Graham, Véronique Gens, Sara Mingardo and Laurent Naouri. In 2003 Le Concert d'Astrée was named Best Ensemble of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique, France's leading musical awards ceremony.
In 2001 Le Concert d'Astrée and Emmanuelle Haïm were granted sponsorship by Fondation France Telecom and signed an exclusive recording contract with Virgin Classics. Their first CD, of Handel duets, was released in November 2002. It was followed by more Handel - Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (a Gramophone Award winner) - and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Susan Graham and Ian Bostridge (named `Choc de l'année' by Le Monde de la Musique). Monteverdi's Orfeo was named among the Best of 2004 by the New York Times and nominated for a Grammy Award, while Delirio, a programme of Handel's Italian cantatas with Natalie Dessay, was awarded a Diapason d'Or by the leading French music magazine. This was followed by Monteverdi's Combattimento, starring Rolando Villazon, Handel's Trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, again with Natalie Dessay, and, for release in Autumn 2007, a recital of arias with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. Also released in late 2007 is a programme of Handel's Dixit Dominus and Bach's Magnificat on which Dessay and Jaroussky are joined by Karine Deshayes and Laurent Naouri.
Emmanuelle Haïm also makes a career as a guest conductor, appearing with, among others, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, while her success at Glyndebourne Festival Opera with Handel's Rodelinda resulted in invitations to conduct the same composer's Theodora and Giulio Cesare at the house.