Les Violons du Roy is a Canadian string orchestra currently touring the U.S. under the guidance of its artistic and music director Bernard Labadie, one of Canada's most respected classical musicians. The group recently visited NPR to perform Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and the Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart.
In the fall of 1984, a 21-year-old Labadie brought together 15 recent music school graduates like himself to form an ensemble dedicated to finding new ways of presenting the standard 18th century chamber music repertoire. Labadie christened the group after the string orchestra at the court of Louis XIV.
The group now has 11 CDs to its credit. It records and performs with a core nucleus of 14 string players and a keyboardist, but often expands to as many as 25 musicians. For its 2004 U.S. tour, Les Violons du Roy is accompanied by several additional musicians, including horn players, and it is this version of the ensemble that performed in Studio 4A.