The chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy borrows its name from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the French kings. 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 music for chamber orchestra, performed in the stylistic manner most appropriate to each era. 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 early 18th centuries; in this repertoire Les Violons du Roy uses copies of period bows. The orchestra has been widely acclaimed for the exceptional energy, brilliance and vitality of its performances. In recent seasons, under the leadership of first guest conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni, the orchestra has begun to explore 19th and 20th century repertoire in more depth.
Les Violons du Roy is at the heart of the music scene in Québec City, where it has been in residence at the Palais Montcalm since 2007. The orchestra is well known throughout Canada thanks to the numerous concerts and recordings broadcast by Société Radio-Canada and CBC, and its regular presence at music festivals. Les Violons du Roy first performed in Europe in 1988 and has since given dozens of concerts in France, Germany, England, Spain and the Netherlands, with internationally-renowned soloists including Magdalena Kozená, David Daniels and Vivica Genaux. The orchestra has been asked to perform twice at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. A new European tour has been planned for fall 2011. ... read full bio