Les violons du Roy
The chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy borrows its name from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the kings of France. The group, which has a core membership of fifteen players, was brought together in 1984 by music director Bernard Labadie and specializes in the vast repertoire of chamber orchestra music. Although the ensemble plays on modern instruments, its approach to the works of the Baroque and Classical periods has been strongly influenced by current research into performance practice in the 17th and 18th centuries ; in this repertoire, Les Violons du Roy musicians use copies of period bows.
Les Violons du Roy is at the heart of the music scene in the city of Québec, where it has made its permanent residence at Palais Montcalm since 2007. It has also been an important part of Montreal’s cultural scene since 1997. Les Violons du Roy is well known across North America thanks to its numerous concert recordings broadcast by CBC, Radio-Canada, and the American network NPR. The ensemble has given dozens of concerts in Europe, including at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and regularly tours the United States, where it has appeared numerous times in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Les Violons du Roy’s discography, which includes three Juno award–winning recordings and one Félix award, boasts 24 titles that have garnered wide critical acclaim. The ensemble has also recorded three albums with soloists Vivica Genaux, Truls Mork, and Alexandre Tharaud, respectively. It made its most recent recordings with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux and with pianist Marc-André Hamelin.