Conductor Nicolas Ellis Awarded Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer 2021-22

The 29-year-old Canadian conductor won a prize of $125,000 for his collaboration in classical music


The Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer honors the late Jean-Pierre Goyer and his contributions to the music and arts scene in Montreal. Goyer was a chairperson for the Council of the Arts in Quebec as well as the Orchestre Métropolitain, where he hired conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Ellis is an alumnus of McGill University. In the summer of 2019, he participated in the Verbier Festival Academy, wherein he was an assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev. Currently, he serves as an artistic partner to the Orchestre Métropolitain with Nézet-Séguin.

In 2013, Ellis founded the Orchestre de l’Agora, which is an ensemble that gives power to classical musicians to aid their impact on the world through their own talent and commitment to their craft.

Ellis plans to break down the financial package to not only benefit himself but the Orchestre de l'Agora as well.

"$50,000 of the Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer will go directly into the Mécénat Musica Orchestre de l'Agora perpetuity fund," said Ellis.

"The prize also comes with a composition by Mécénat Musica ambassador Matthias Maute (worth $13,500) called 'Noncerto RR10 Vieux Montréal,' which I performed with the Orchestre de l'Agora at La Maison Symphonique last July in front of 50 health-care workers. $11,500 is offered in the form of business coaching and, finally, there is $50,000 that will serve for my own artistic development that I will use as I wish.

"I am of course deeply honored to receive the Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer. Since it's attributed to a 'collaborative emerging artist,' I have to thank all the artists, orchestras, and cultural institutions with whom I have collaborated in recent years."