Les Violons du Roy is a French-Canadian chamber orchestra based in Quebec City, Quebec. The orchestra's principal venue is the Palais Montcalm in Québec City. The orchestra also performs concerts in Montréal at the Place des Arts, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and St. James United Church.

Les Violons du Roy
Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy (2010)

History edit

In 1984, Bernard Labadie founded the ensemble, following productions at the Université Laval of the Baroque operas Dido and Aeneas and L'incoronazione di Poppea, using the orchestra for these productions as the new ensemble's core. The ensemble's name is an adaptation of the 17th century French royal court orchestra Les Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi. Numbering 15 musicians, the orchestra performs on modern instruments, but incorporates period performance practice into its performances of music from the 17th and 18th centuries, including using duplicates of period bows for string instruments, and sparing use of vibrato.[1] Labadie founded an affiliate chorus for Les Violons du Roy in 1985, under the original name of Ensemble vocal Bernard Labadie. In 1991, the choir changed its name to La Chapelle de Québec.

The ensemble first performed in Europe in 1988. Its first performance in Washington, D.C. was in 1995. The orchestra first appeared in New York City in August 1997.[2]

Past conductors and musicians affiliated with the ensemble have included:

  • Jean-Marie Zeitouni, a past principal guest conductor
  • Eric Paetkau, a former resident conductor
  • Mathieu Lussier, an associate conductor
  • Anthony Marwood, a principal artistic partner

With the 2014–2015 season, Labadie's title with the orchestra changed from music director to "founding conductor".[3] In October 2016, the orchestra announced the appointment of Jonathan Cohen as its music director, effective with the 2017-2018 season.[4][5] In November 2022, the orchestra announced the appointment of Nicolas Ellis as its next principal guest conductor, effective with the 2023-2024 season.[6]

The orchestra has recorded commercially for the Dorian,[7] Virgin Classics,[8] and ATMA Classique labels. The ensemble has won the Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year three times: for their recording of George Frideric Handel's Apollo e Dafne and Handel's Silete Venti in 2001, for their recording of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in 2003, and in 2007 for their recording of Astor Piazzolla's Four Seasons.[9]

Music Directors edit

  • Bernard Labadie (1984–2014)
  • Jonathan Cohen (2017–present)

References edit

  1. ^ James R. Oestreich (2009-12-14). "Alongside an Old Standard, Sounds That Were Made for the Christmas Season". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  2. ^ Anthony Tommasini (1997-08-26). "Mostly Mozart All Over, With Lesser-Known Works". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  3. ^ "Bernard Labadie to assume the title of founding conductor of Les Violons du Roy for the 2014–2015 season" (Press release). Les Violons du Roy. 3 July 2013. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  4. ^ "Conductor Jonathan Cohen named music director of Les Violons du Roy" (Press release). Les Violons du Roy. 6 October 2016. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  5. ^ "Jonathan Cohen Brings Many Skills to Les Violons du Roy - my/maSCENA". myscena.org. 2020-02-07. Retrieved 2024-01-23.
  6. ^ "Nicolas Ellis named Principal Guest Conductor of Les Violons du Roy" (Press release). Les Violons du Roy. 21 November 2022. Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  7. ^ Andrew Clements (2003-03-28). "Mozart: Requiem (completed Levin): Gauvin/ Lemieux/ Tessier/ Berg/ La Chapelle de Quebec/ Les Violons du Roy/ Labadie (Dorian)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  8. ^ Andrew Clements (2006-10-06). "Handel and Hasse: Arias, Genaux/ Les Violons du Roy/ Labadie (Virgin Classics)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  9. ^ "Les Violons Du Roy". The JUNO Awards. Retrieved 2024-01-23.

External links edit