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).
Benjamin Raymond studied at the Trois-Rivières Conservatory of Music, McGill University and the Quebec Conservatory of Music. He has been on the Quebec professional scene since the age of 17. He regularly performs as a freelancer with the majority of musical groups in Quebec, notably, Les Violons du Roy, I Musici, La Sinfonia by Lanaudière, at the Symphonic Orchestras of Quebec, Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke.
As a soloist, he has performed several times with Les Violons du Roy and I Musici. He played the first trumpet for the Violons du Roy's 25th anniversary tour leading the ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York. New York critics have praised his work.
More recently, he was heard on the first trumpet of the Metropolitan Orchestra in Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 10. In the world of baroque music, since 2006, he has performed with the Arion ensemble in Montreal and the Tafelmusik ensemble in Toronto. During his studies, he was twice a member of the World Youth Musical Orchestra. A versatile musician, we can also hear him on Patrick Watson's latest album. Since the fall of 2014, Benjamin Raymond has been a trumpet teacher at the Montreal Conservatory of Music.
Pascale Giguère has been a member of Les Violons du Roy since 1995. She was co-concertmaster from 2000 to 2013, and has been concertmaster since 2014. She has performed with the ensemble in some of the world’s leading venues, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and Carnegie Hall in New York, and at leading festivals in Canada, the United States and Europe. Pascale Giguère has also taken part in recordings with Les Violons for the labels Dorian, Atma and Virgin Classics.
In recent years, Pascale Giguère has appeared as a soloist with Les Violons du Roy, in particular in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 and Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons; the latter work was recorded by Atma and received a Juno award. She has also performed with the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Laval and Orchestre des Grands Ballets Canadiens, with which she played Stravinsky’s Concerto in D, an experience she repeated in December 2006 with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec conducted by Yoav Talmi. In recent seasons she has appeared as a guest soloist at the Domaine Forget international festival and the Parry Sound Festival.
Pascale Giguère studied at the Montréal Conservatory with Raymond Dessaints, obtaining Premier Prix diplomas in violin and chamber music. She has also won several important prizes, including Grand Prize at the CIBC National Music Festival, First Prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Québec competition, and the prestigious Prix d’Europe award in 1993, which allowed her to continue her studies at Boston University with Roman Totenberg, Peter Zazovski and the Muir Quartet.
Pascale was awarded the Canada Council Instrument Bank’s 1700 Bell Giovanni Tononi violin to play from 2006 to 2008. Her current instrument is a Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi violin (Milan, 1745), purchased and generously loaned by Marthe Bourgeois. She also plays a Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù "Lyon & Healy", Cremona, ca. 1738, generously loaned to her by CANIMEX INC. in Drummondville (Quebec).
Pascale Gagnon graduated from the University of Montréal with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees under the direction of Jean-François Rivest, and went to complete training sessions at the Orford Arts Centre, Le Domaine Forget in Saint-Irénée and the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta.
Pascale Gagnon is a founding member of the Quatuor Bozzini (1994-1997), which won Second Prize in the CIBC National Competition in 1995, and First Prize in the “Debut” series in 1997. The Quartet is well known for its work in the contemporary music field, and in 1996 was invited to take part in the international forum for young composers in collaboration with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM).
Pascale Gagnon was the concertmaster of the University of Montréal orchestra for the last three years of her student career, and toured in Spain in 1994. As a soloist and chamber musician, she took part in 1997 in two concerts recorded by CBC for the “Jeunes Artistes” series, and has also appeared with various professional ensembles including L’Orchestre Métropolitain, L’Orchestre symphonique de Laval, I Musici, La Pietà and La Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). Pascale Gagnon has been a member of the chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy since May 2001.
Pascale Gagnon plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, Guarneri model, 1850 violin, and uses an Émile-François Ouchard, (father), ca. 1930 bow, generously provided by CANIMEX INC. of Drummondville (Quebec).
Noëlla Bouchard joined Les Violons du Roy in 1995. Since then, she has played in several hundred concerts, some 30 international tours, and numerous recordings with this chamber orchestra in residence at Palais Montcalm – Maison de la musique in Quebec City.
Noëlla Bouchard began learning the violin at the age of five with Lucille Johnstone and continued her studies at Conservatoire de musique de Montréal from 1982 to 1992 in classes taught by Johanne Arel, Raymond Dessaints, Robert Verebes, Denis Brott, and Raffi Armenian. She earned her first award there in 1992. From 1992 to 1995 she continued to hone her skills with Moshe Hammer in Toronto. In 1994 she was a finalist at the International Stepping Stone Canadian Music Competition in Vancouver. She has participated in a number of workshops at Domaine Forget, Camp musical des Laurentides, and Orford Musique.
In recent years, Noëlla Bouchard has been invited to Concerts du Bic (2016) and the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa (2018) and has played on a recording of André Mathieu’s chamber music with pianist Jean-Michel Dubé (2019).
Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546
• String Symphony No.6 in E-Flat Major
• String Symphony No.2 in D Major
Concerto for Trumpet in G Minor, HWV287
• Concerto for Violin in E Major, Op.8 No.1, RV 269 “Spring”
• Concerto for Violin in G Minor, Op.8 No.2, RV 315 “Summer”
• Concerto for Violin in F Major, Op.8 No.3, RV 293 “Autumn”
• Concerto for Violin in F Minor, Op.8 No.4, RV 297 “Winter”