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, 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 18th centuries; in this repertoire Les Violons du Roy uses copies of period bows. The orchestra also regularly delves into the repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries, as witnessed by its recordings of works by Piazzolla, Bartók, and Britten.
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. Since 1997, it has also been an important part of Montreal’s cultural scene. The orchestra is well known throughout Canada thanks to numerous concerts and recordings broadcast by Société Radio-Canada and the CBC and its regular presence at music festivals. Les Violons du Roy has given dozens of performances in Austria, Belgium, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and United States.