Les Violons du Roy (= LVDR), a group of fifteen musicians brought together in 1984 by artistic director Bernard Labadie, 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 understanding of performance practice of the 17th and early 18th centuries; in this repertoire Les Violons du Roy uses Baroque bows and bowing technique. The name Les Violons du Roy is borrowed from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the French kings.
Because of its many concerts and recordings for the French and English networks of the CBC, Les Violons du Roy has become a pillar of the musical scene in Quebec City, and across Canada. Les Violons du Roy has, since 1988, made over a hundred concert appearances in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Morocco, Canada and the USA. Their performance of George Frideric Handelís Messiah, presented in Toronto and Montreal in December 1997, 1998 and 1999 created a critical and public sensation. They returned to perform J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) in April 2000. In March 2001, they returned to Lincoln Center in New York as part of their North American tour with American counter-tenor David Daniels. Recent and coming performances include the Mozart's Requiem and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass at Lincoln Center, Messiah in Toronto, and tours in the USA and Europe.
In December 1992, Les Violons du Roy signed a contract with Dorian Recordings, collaboration that has so far resulted in nine CD recordings. Five CDís (Simphonies des noëls, Stabat Mater, Music of Bach's Sons, Antonio Vivaldi's: Concerti for Strings and Handel: Apollo e Dafne) received nominations for JUNO awards; and the Stabat Mater recording was also nominated for a Cannes Classical Award at the 1995 MIDEM held in Cannes, France. Two new recordings were released in 2000: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (arr. Bernard Labadie) and G.F. Handel: Apollo e Dafne. The latter recording received a JUNO Award in the category of Best Classical Album, Choral or Vocal Performance released in 2000.