Published on March 20, 2018
2018–2019 SEASON 35
JONATHAN COHEN TAKES OVER AS NEW MUSIC DIRECTOR FOR LES VIOLONS DU ROY
Québec City, March 20, 2018 – Board chair Jean Houde, executive director Hugo Sanschagrin, and head of artistic administration Laurent Patenaude, gave a warm welcome to Jonathan Cohen, Les Violons du Roy’s new music director, in announcing the orchestra’s 35th season—and Mr. Cohen’s very first.
The 2018–2019 season will mark the arrival of the acclaimed British conductor as music director of Les Violons du Roy. Known as a brilliant conductor as well as a harpsichordist and cellist, Jonathan Cohen will continue in his new role until 2021. He’s put together a tour de force for his first season. It’s packed with new ideas and debuts while remaining faithful to the orchestra’s identity and to those who’ve supported it from the very beginning.
Mr. Cohen had this to say about his new position: “I get to look forward to spending years with these simply amazing musicians, people with whom the never-ending search for beauty and musical meaning happens so naturally and respectfully—it’s just such a pleasure. I’m really thrilled to join the Les Violons du Roy adventure and have the opportunity to contribute my own artistic vision.
I’m grateful to the orchestra musicians, management, and board, who put their trust in me and chose me to join them in this new chapter for the orchestra. In particular I salute Bernard Labadie, who founded this musical treasure and raised it to the enviable position it’s held over the years on the international scene. I also salute all of Maestro Labadie’s musical partners—the permanent musicians, the members of La Chapelle de Québec, the orchestra’s close collaborators Mathieu Lussier and Anthony Marwood, and all the guest artists who’ve believed in Les Violons du Roy and added to its reputation.”
Highly esteemed within the international artistic community and known for his passion and commitment to chamber music, Jonathan Cohen demonstrates his versatility with a wide-ranging répertoire embracing everything from Baroque opera and Classical symphonies to the works of the Romantic era. The conductor is also artistic director of Arcangelo, associate conductor of Les Arts Florissants, artistic director of the Tetbury Music Festival in England, and artistic partner of the famous Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota.
Mr. Cohen will take over from Bernard Labadie, Les Violons du Roy’s founding conductor. Mr. Labadie welcomed Mr. Cohen’s arrival: “I’m very pleased and proud to welcome Jonathan Cohen as Les Violons du Roy’s new musical director. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll uphold the orchestra’s tradition of excellence and reach new heights, to the delight of music lovers everywhere.”
For the first time, Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec will have not one, but two visionary music directors to inspire them with talent and creative ideas, as Bernard Labadie, continuing in his capacity of music director of La Chapelle de Québec, teams up with Jonathan Cohen. The choir, founded in 1985 by Mr. Labadie, will continue to work primarily with Les Violons du Roy in presenting the great masterworks of the 18th century, but will also pursue its own projects, including Le chemin de Noël—a new tradition in the making—as well touring opportunities at home and abroad.
Mr. Cohen’s appointment was the result of a meeting of minds and artistic sensibilities between an exceptional conductor and an outstanding ensemble, and it promises a rich musical dialogue in the years to come. Mr. Cohen invites people from Québec and beyond to join the orchestra and the choir in marking this new beginning: “Let’s write the next chapter together!”