Conductors and soloists
Bernard Labadie, an internationally recognized specialist in the baroque and classical repertoires, is the founding conductor of Les Violons du Roy. He was the ensemble’s music director from 1984 to 2014 and remains the music director of La Chapelle de Québec, which he founded in 1985.
As head of both ensembles, he has toured Europe and North America performing at some of the most illustrious concert halls and festivals: Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center (New York), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Kennedy Center (Washington), the Barbican (London), Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Paris), Brussels’ Centre for Fine Arts, and the Salzburg, Bergen, Rheingau, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals.
In 2017, Bernard Labadie was named principal conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York. He conducts the orchestra’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall, often with La Chapelle de Québec.
A much sought-after guest conductor in North America, he makes frequent appearances with major American and Canadian orchestras: Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, New World Symphony, Montréal, Toronto and Ottawa. In Europe, he has conducted the Mozarteum of Salzburg and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the orchestras of Lyon, Bordeaux-Aquitaine, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. He has also headed several radio orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the radio orchestras in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hanover, and Helsinki.
Bernard Labadie regularly collaborates with some of the most prestigious period-instrument early music ensembles: Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, The English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Handel and Haydn Society (Boston).
At the opera, he served as artistic director of Opéra de Québec from 1994 to 2003 and as artistic director of Opéra de Montréal from 2002 to 2006. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and the Santa Fe, Cincinnati, and Glimmerglass operas. In 2021, he made his debut appearance at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Both as a guest conductor and with Les Violons du Roy, Bernard Labadie has recorded some twenty albums for Virgin Classics (now Erato), EMI, Pentatone, Dorian, ATMA, Hyperion, and Naïve.
A tireless ambassador for music in his hometown of Québec City, Bernard Labadie was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec, and Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec. He is also a recipient of the Medal of Honour of the National Assembly of Québec, the Banff Centre’s National Arts Award, the Samuel de Champlain Award, and honorary doctorates from Université Laval (Alma Mater) and the Manhattan School of Music.
In a career spanning 25 years, Alexandre Tharaud has become a unique figure in the classical music world and a key exponent of French pianism. His extraordinary discography of over 25 solo albums, most of which received major awards from the music press, features repertoire ranging from Couperin, Bach, and Scarlatti through Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, and Rachmaninov to the major 20th century French composers. The breadth of his artistic endeavours is also reflected in collaborations with stage directors, dancers, choreographers, writers, and filmmakers, as well as with singer-songwriters and musicians outside the realm of classical music.
Alexandre is a sought-after soloist, appearing with many of the world’s leading orchestras. Upcoming highlights include concerto performances with the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, NAC Orchestra Ottawa, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Scottish Symphony, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Zurich Kammerorchester, and the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. Recent concerto engagements include the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, Cincinnati Symphony, London Philharmonic, hr‑Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, and Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Alexandre is an exclusive recording artist of Erato Records. He released Chanson d’amour with Sabine Devieilhe in September 2020, with subsequent tour dates at Wigmore Hall, La Monnaie, Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs‑Élysées and Teatro alla Scala, among others. Le Poète du Piano, a collection of some of Alexandre’s best-known recordings, was released the following month. His discography reflects an eclectic affinity with many musical styles, with recent recordings including Versailles, which pays tribute to composers associated with the courts of the French kings Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, a tribute to singer-songwriter Barbara, a Brahms duo album with Jean-Guihen Queyras (a regular chamber music partner for 20 years), and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Over the course of his career, he has made critically acclaimed recordings of Rameau, Scarlatti, Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Italian Concerto, Beethoven’s three final sonatas, Chopin’s 24 Preludes, and Ravel’s complete piano works.
Jean-Guihen Queyras enjoys an enviable reputation as a musician of exceptional versatility and integrity. His musical horizons are seemingly boundless, and he is in great demand not only as a soloist with international orchestras and conductors, but also as a chamber musician and solo performer.
He has appeared with many of the world’s great orchestras including the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia, NHK Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande, and Netherlands Philharmonic under the baton of conductors such as Ivan Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jiri Bělohlávek, and Sir Roger Norrington. He is a regular soloist with several early music ensembles, including Freiburger Barockorchester and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
Jean-Guihen Queyras is frequently asked to host artistic residencies. These have included projects at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Aix-en-Provence Festival, as well as with Ensemble Resonanz and Bochumer Symphoniker. He will be artist-in-residence at Wigmore Hall in London during the 2015–16 season.
An enthusiastic exponent of contemporary music, Queyras is committed to expanding the repertoire boundaries of his instrument. He collaborates with composers such as Bruno Mantovani, Jörg Widmann, Michael Jarrell, Johannes-Maria Staud, Peter Eötvös, and Pierre Boulez. He commissioned Thomas Larcher to compose a piece for solo cello and string orchestra, which will be premiered with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta in 2016.
Jean-Guihen Queyras’s regular chamber music partners include pianists Alexandre Tharaud and Alexander Melnikov and violinist Isabelle Faust. He is a member of the Arcanto Quartett with Tabea Zimmermann, Antje Weithaas, and Daniel Sepec. He also performs with Zarb specialists Kevyan and Bijan Chemirani.
Queyras has made numerous recordings for Harmonia Mundi. His recording of Bach’s complete solo suites received immediate acclaim (Diapason d’Or & CD of the Year in Diapason). Recent highlights include Elgar’s Cello Concerto & Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, as well as an all-Schumann project featuring the piano trios with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov and the concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester.
Jean-Guihen Queyras plays a cello made by Gioffredo Cappa in 1696, on loan from Mécénat Musical Société Générale since November 2005. He is a professor at the Musikhochschule Freiburg.
Overture from L’amant anonyme
Concerto for piano No.23 in A Major, K.488
Concerto for cello
Symphony No.45 in F-Sharp Minor, Hob.I:45 “Farewell”