Les Violons du Roy welcomes back the sublime French soprano and Mozart specialist Sandrine Piau, a leading voice on the world opera scene, to perform some of the great composer’s most beautiful arias. To celebrate his return as conductor of Les Violons du Roy, Jonathan Cohen has also programmed two symphonies inspired by our guest and the city of Paris.
Conductors and soloists
Jonathan Cohen has forged a remarkable career as a conductor, cellist and keyboardist. Well known for his passion and commitment to chamber music Jonathan is equally at home in such diverse activities as baroque opera and the classical symphonic repertoire. He is the new Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, in addition to continuing as Artistic Director of Arcangelo, Music Director of Les Violons du Roy and Artistic Director of Tetbury Festival.
Throughout the 23-24 season, Jonathan continues to have a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe he guest conducts Budapest Festival Orchestra, Kammerorchester Basel, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liege and Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorhcester. In his first season as their new Artistic Director, Jonathan leads the Handel & Haydn Society in Baroque masterpieces including Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Messiah. He conducts further performances of Messiah with San Francisco Symphony whilst projects with Les Violons du Roy include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and a US tour with Milos Karadaglic.
Jonathan founded Arcangelo in 2010 to create high quality bespoke projects. The ensemble was the first named Baroque Ensemble in Residence at Wigmore Hall, where it enjoys a continuing close association, and has toured to exceptional halls and festivals including Philharmonie Berlin, Vienna Konzerthaus, Barbican Centre, Kölner Philharmonie, Salzburg Festival, MA Festival Bruges, with three appearances at the BBC Proms including the premiere of Handel Theodora (2018) and a televised performance of Bach St Matthew Passion (2021).
Arcangelo’s founding commitment to the recording studio has produced 28 critically lauded albums including Arias for Guadagni and Bach Cantatas with Iestyn Davies (Hyperion; Gramophone Award 2012 and 2017), Mozart Violin Concertos with Vilde Frang (Warner; ECHO Klassik Award 2015) C.P.E. Bach Cello Concertos with Nicolas Altstaedt (Hyperion; BBC Music Magazine Award 2017), Buxtehude Trio Sonatas Op.1 (Alpha Classics; GRAMMY Nominee 2018), Tiranno with Kate Lindsey (Alpha; Sunday Times Records of the Year 2021). Arcangelo’s latest recordings include Sacroprofano with Tim Mead (Alpha; released 2023), Handel Theodora and Buxtehude Opus Posthumous (Alpha; releasing 2024), Handel Chandos Anthems (Alpha; releasing 2025) and a landmark project with Nicolas Altstaedt to make the first survey on period instruments of Boccherini’s Cello Concertos (Alpha).
A renowned figure in the world of baroque music, French soprano Sandrine Piau regularly performs with celebrated conductors such as William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Rousset, Gustav Lleonhardt, Ivor Bolton, Ton Koopman, René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Sandrine Piau embraces different roles on international stages. The roles she has previously performed include Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Morgana (Alcina) at the Opéra de Paris, Dalinda (Ariodante) at the Salzburg Festival, Alcina, Mélisande, Sandrina, (La Finta Giardiniera), Sœur Constance (Dialogue des Carmélites) at the Monnaie, Alcina and Dalinda (Ariodante) in Amsterdam, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Sœur Constance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Despina (Cosi fan tutte) and Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at the Festival d’Aix en Provence.
As a celebrated recital singer of both French and German repertoire, Sandrine Piau performs with renowned accompanists including Jos van Immerseel, Roger Vignoles and Susan Manoff. She regularly gives recitals and has appeared in concert in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Munich, Zurich, and Salzburg, and recently in Hamburg for the opening of the Elbphilharmonie.
In recent years she has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Covent Garden Festival, Musikverein, Salle Pleyel, Festival de Saint Denis, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Teatro Communale in both Florence and Bologna and with the world’s most prestigious orchestras including Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Sandrine Piau has an extensive discography, including four CDs of Handel and Mozart and two recitals albums: Apres un rêve and Evocations, which she recorded with renowned accompanist Susan Manoff, with whom she has a privileged relationship and performs regularly. Together they have performed in Europe, across America, in Japan and most recently at Wigmore Hall. Desperate Heroines, a stunning selection of Mozart’s arias recorded with the Orchestre du Mozarteum Salzburg and Ivor Bolton, has been a critically acclaimed recording.
Sandrine Piau now records exclusively for Alpha Classics and her first CD under this label, released in 2018, is a recital disc recorded with Susan Manoff entitled Chimère.The disc includes a selection of German Lieder, French Mélodies, and Art Songs.
The 2018/19 season saw her return to the Lincoln Centre with Les Arts Florissants, tour Europe with the Freiburger Barockorchester, her ‘Desperate Lovers’ tour of Europe with the Concert d’Astrée and her return to the Salzburg Festival with Alcina.
The 2019/20 season includes Les Arts Florissants’ 40th anniversary tour, a European Tour with Teodor Currentzis and a return to the Festival d'Aix en Provence for the creation Innocence by Kaija Saariaho.
Sandrine Piau was given the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2006 and was named “Lyrical Artist of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique Classique award ceremony in 2009.
Symphony No.31 in D Major, K.297/300 “Paris”
Ch’io mi scordi di te?... Non temer, amato bene, K.490
Bella mia fiamma, K.528
Arias from Le nozze di Figaro
Symphony No.85 in B-Flat Major, Hob.I:85 “La Reine”