Les Délices (pronounced Lay day-lease) delights, inspires, educates, and expands audiences for music on period instruments through innovative programming and world class performances. With deep roots in our Northeast Ohio community, Les Délices is building a national reputation as a leader in the field of early music, advancing its relevance and sustainability by welcoming collaboration, embracing digital media, and proactively working to support diversity and inclusion among our peers and repertoire.
Founded by baroque oboist Debra Nagy in 2009, Les Délices has established a reputation for their unique programs that are “thematically concise, richly expressive, and featuring composers few people have heard of.” The New York Times added, “Concerts and recordings by Les Délices are journeys of discovery.” The group’s debut CD was named one of the “Top Ten Early Music Discoveries of 2009” (NPR’s Harmonia), and their performances have been called “a beguiling experience” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), “astonishing” (ClevelandClassical.com), and “first class” (Early Music America Magazine).
Les Délices’ 12th season, Embracing Change, marked an important evolutionary period for the organization: they reconceived concerts for the virtual space and created a webseries variety show for early music called SalonEra. Critics called the concerts “sensational,” and “a cultural gift” while SalonEra opened a world of music to audiences at home as 16 original episodes and 60 remote musical collaborations created feature opportunities for over 40 artists. Highlights of their 2021-22 season include a new global streaming partnership with Marquee.TV, two newly commissioned works by composers Jonathan Woody and Sydney Guillaume, 12 new episodes of SalonEra, and the premiere of their fairytale-based chamber opera, The White Cat (previously delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
While responding to the global pandemic with a deft pivot to virtual programming, Les Délices has also embraced the national racial reckoning with a commitment to openly facing and actively working to dismantle racial and cultural inequities in our sector. Read our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy.
Les Délices made its New York debut before a sold-out audience at the Frick Collection in May 2010. Recent and upcoming performances for the ensemble include Music Before 1800 (New York City), Da Camera Society (Los Angeles), Houston Early Music Society, Early Music Hawaii, Morrison Chamber Music Center at San Francisco State University, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, San Francisco Early Music Society, the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, and Columbia University’s Miller Theatre. In addition to touring engagements, Les Délices presents an annual concert series in Northeast Ohio. Les Délices has been featured on WCPN, WCLV and WKSU in Ohio, WQXR in New York, NPR’s syndicated Harmonia and Sunday Baroque, and had their debut CD featured as part of the Audio-guide for a special exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Watteau, Music, and Theater). Les Délices’ fourth CD, Songs Without Words, was released on the Navona label in November 2018 to critical acclaim.