The 14 members of Les Violons pose for a picture. The picture shows them from over head standing in two groups on stage with their violins arranged on the floor in the middle of the stage.

Les Violons du Roy
Jonathan Cohen, Music Director; Miloš, Guitar

May 2, 2024 | Polsky Theatre

Past Event

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 15 players, was brought together in 1984 by Founding Conductor Bernard Labadie and continues under Music Director Jonathan Cohen to specialize in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra.


  • Sinfonia, excerpt from Olimpiade, RV 725  by Antonio Vivaldi
  • Excerpt from Oboe Concerto in D minor S. Z799 by Alessandro Marcello
  • Excerpt from Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D major, G. 448 by Luigi Boccerini
  • Excerpt from Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 by J.S. Bach
  • Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op. 6 No. 4, HWV 322 by G.F. Handel
  • Concerto Grosso Op. 5 No. 12 in D minor, H. 143 “La Follia” (after Corelli) Francesco Geminiani
  • Les artes ed les heures by Jean-Philippe Rameau
  • Menuet by G.F. Handel
  • Passacaglia, Weiss SW 18.6 by Silvius Leopold Weiss
  • Suite from The Fairy Queen, Z. 629 by Henry Purcell
  • Excerpt from Timon of Athens, Z. 632 by Henry Purcell
  • Concerto for lute, 2 violins and continuo in D major, F. XII/15, RV 93 by Antonio Vivaldi

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 NPR.

The ensemble makes regular visits to New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, and has performed in South Korea, China and dozens of times in Europe at such legendary venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berlin Philharmonie.

Les Violons du Roy’s discography boasts 36 titles, including three Juno Award–winning albums and one Félix Award winner. Twelve recordings have appeared on the Dorian label, and 11 under the ATMA label. The ensemble has also released four albums on Virgin Classics, now Erato/Warner Classics, with soloists Vivica Genaux, Truls Mork and Alexandre Tharaud, respectively.

It has also made recordings with Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Naïve), Marc-André Hamelin (Hyperion), Valérie Milot (Analekta), Anthony Roth Costanzo (Decca Gold), Charles Richard-Hamelin (Analekta) and Diane Dufresne.