Les Violons du Roy

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

Les Violons du Roy is a French-Canadian chamber orchestra based in Québec City, Québec. 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.

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. Labadie continues as music director of both Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec.[2]

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.[3]

Since 2008, Jean-Marie Zeitouni is the orchestra's principal guest conductor. Since 2009, Eric Paetkau is the orchestra's resident conductor. In July 2013, the ensemble announced that Labadie is scheduled to change his title with Les Violons du Roy from music director to "founding conductor".[4]

The orchestra has recorded commercially for the Dorian,[5] Virgin Classics,[6] and ATMA Classique labels. The ensemble has won the Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year twice: for their recording of George Frideric Handel's Apollo e Dafne and Handel's Silete Venti in 2001, and for their recording of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in 2003.

Music Directors[edit]

  • Bernard Labadie (1984–present)


  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. ^ Evan Ware. "Les Violons du Roy". The Canadian Encyclopedia. 
  3. ^ Anthony Tommasini (1997-08-26). "Mostly Mozart All Over, With Lesser-Known Works". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  4. ^ "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. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Andrew Clements (2006-10-06). "Handel and Hasse: Arias, Genaux/ Les Violons du Roy/ Labadie (Virgin Classics)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 

External links[edit]