The chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy takes 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 founding conductor Bernard Labadie and specializes in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra.
Using copies of period bows on modern instruments, the ensemble plays works from the Baroque and Classical period with an approach strongly influenced by current research into performance practice in the 17th and 18th centuries. The orchestra also regularly delves into the repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Les Violons du Roy is at the heart of the music scene in Quebec City and a regular feature on the Montreal cultural calendar. The orchestra is known throughout North America thanks to the many broadcasts of its concerts and recordings on CBC, Radio-Canada, and the American network NPR. The ensemble makes regular visits to New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles and has performed dozens of times in Europe at such legendary
venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berliner Philharmonie.
Les Violons du Roy’s discography boasts 31 titles, including three Juno Award–winning albums and one Félix Award winner. Twelve recordings have appeared on the Dorian label, and eleven under the ATMA label. The ensemble has also released four albums on Virgin Classics, now Erato/Warner Classics, with soloists Vivica Genaux, Truls Mørk, and Alexandre Tharaud, respectively. It has also made recordings with Marie- Nicole Lemieux (Naïve), Marc-André Hamelin (Hyperion), Valérie Milot (Analekta), and with Diane Dufresne.