Bernard Labadie, conductor
Bernard Labadie has established himself worldwide as one of the preeminent conductors of the Baroque and Classical repertoire, a reputation closely tied to his work with Les Violons du Roy (for which he served as Music Director from its inception until 2014) and La Chapelle de Québec. With these two ensembles he has regularly toured Canada, the US, and Europe, in major venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, The Barbican, The Concertgebouw, and the Salzburg Festival, among others. He began a four-year term as Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in the 2018–2019 season.
Mr. Labadie has become a regular presence on the podiums of the major North American orchestras, including the Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, Colorado, Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras; the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics; the Handel & Haydn Society; and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. International audiences in past seasons have seen and heard Maestro Labadie conduct the Bayerischen Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Collegium Vocale Ghent, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester (Cologne), and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
His extensive discography includes many critically acclaimed recordings on Dorian, ATMA, and Virgin Classics labels, including Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and a collaborative recording of Mozart’s Requiem with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec, both of which received Canada’s JUNO Award. Other recordings include C.P.E. Bach’s complete cello concertos with Truls Mørk and Les Violons du Roy; J.S. Bach’s complete piano concertos with Alexandre Tharaud, both on Virgin Classics; and Haydn’s piano concertos with Marc-Andre Hamelin as soloist, released by Hyperion. He has received Paris’s Samuel de Champlain award, the Canadian government’s Officer of the Order of Canada, and his home province has named him Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec.
La Chappelle de Québec
La Chapelle de Québec, founded by Bernard Labadie in 1985, is a nationally based chamber choir of professional singers recruited mainly in Québec City, but also throughout Québec and Canada. It assembles for two or three concerts each season to join Les Violons du Roy in major works from the repertory for choir and orchestra, especially from the 18th century. Its performances of cantatas, oratorios, and masses by J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn have been acclaimed throughout Canada and the United States, thanks to many broadcasts by Radio-Canada, the CBC, and NPR in the United States.
La Chapelle de Québec has performed regularly on tour with Les Violons du Roy, notably in Handel’s Messiah and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Toronto, in an all-Vivaldi program in France, and in Mozart’s Requiem in Toronto and the United States. The choir is often asked to appear with Bernard Labadie in the concerts he conducts with US orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which it performed Handel’s Messiah in 2004 and J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in 2006.
La Chapelle de Québec won a JUNO Award for its recording of Mozart’s Requiem, released by Dorian in 2002.
Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary educational programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. Under the leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley, the NAC Orchestra reflects the fabric and values of Canada, reaching and representing the diverse communities we live in with daring programming, powerful storytelling, inspiring artistry, and innovative partnerships.
Alexander Shelley began his tenure as Music Director in 2015, following Pinchas Zukerman’s 16 seasons at the helm. Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and former Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra (2009 - 2017), he has been in demand around the world, conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Stockholm Philharmonic, among others, and maintains a regular relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the German National Youth Orchestra.
Each season, the NAC Orchestra features world-class artists such as the newly appointed Artist-in-Residence James Ehnes, Angela Hewitt, Joshua Bell, Xian Zhang, Gabriela Montero, Stewart Goodyear, Jan Lisiecki, and Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds. As one of the most accessible, inclusive and collaborative orchestras in the world, the NAC Orchestra uses music as a universal language to communicate the deepest of human emotions and connect people through shared experiences.