A native of Quebec City, Bernard Labadie graduated from the School of Music of Laval University and from the Québec and Montréal conservatories. He studied Gregorian chant with Dom Jean Claire at the Abbey Saint-Pierre de Solesmes in France and conducting with Simon Stratfield, Pierre Dervaux, and John Eliot Gardiner. Mr. Labadie directed L’Opéra de Québec from 1994 to 2003, and L’Opéra de Montréal from 2002 to 2006. He is Artistic and Music Director of Les Violons du Roy, a chamber orchestra he founded in 1984. In 1985 Mr. Labadie founded the vocal group La Chapelle de Québec, for which he continues to serve as Music Director. He led both groups in Handel’s Messiah and J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Carnegie Hall in 2009, and they returned to that venue in March 2012.
Bernard Labadie made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2005 and has returned several times since then, leading the Orchestra in works by Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, among others. He appeared here most recently in February 2011, conducting works by Mozart. Mr. Labadie has guest conducted the major symphony orchestras of Canada, as well as the orchestras of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, and Indianapolis. Last season, Mr. Labadie made his debut at Tanglewood and returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chicago, New World, Utah, and Vancouver symphonies. This season, he appears with the New York Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. He also conducts the Melbourne Symphony, the Academy of Ancient Music, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Hamburg Symphony, Northern Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and the Brussels Philharmonic. A specialist in Baroque and Classical music, he has conducted the Orchestra of the Collegium Vocale Ghent, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, the New York Collegium, and L’Ensemble Arion in Montreal. Mr. Labadie made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte); he reprised The Magic Flute at Cincinnati Opera in 2011.
For the Dorian label, Bernard Labadie has recorded Handel’s Apollo e Dafne in addition to leading Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec in Mozart’s Requiem; both albums won Juno awards. Other recordings feature his own arrangements of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations and The Art of Fugue. A complete recording of C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concertos with Truls Mørk and Les Violons du Roy was released in 2011, as was a recording of J.S. Bach’s Piano Concertos with Alexandre Tharaud, both for Virgin Classics. Mr. Labadie appears regularly on radio and television broadcasts on the CBC/Radio-Canada network. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec in 2006.