Conductor Nicolas Ellis wins Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer 2021-2022.

Canadian conductor Nicolas Ellis, Artistic Director & Founder of Orchestre de l’Agora and Artistic Partner to the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is the winner of the $125,000 Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer 2021-2022 for Collaborative Emerging Artist.

Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer is the biggest prize in Canada and one of the largest in the world for a collaborative emerging artist in classical music. Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer honours Jean-Pierre Goyer and his contributions to music, arts and culture in Montréal, Québec and Canada. Mr. Goyer was Chairman of the Conseil des arts de Montréal and Chairman of the Orchestre Métropolitain where he hired Yannick Nézet- Séguin as emerging conductor at the age of 25 years old.

$100,000 of the prize is from Ensemble Caprice donors, providing $5,000 from each $25,000 Mécénat Musica donation. During the pandemic, under Ellis’ leadership, $50,000 of the Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer was used to create, for the artist’s cultural organization Orchestre de l’Agora, a $1,000,000 Mécénat Musica endowment fund (including the donations already found by the Orchestre de l’Agora and future matched government funding).

Nicolas Ellis has conducted seven grant recipients of the Mécénat Musica program: Orchestre Métropolitain, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Les Violons du Roy, Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil, Orchestre classique de Montréal, I Musici de Montréal and Orchestre de l’Agora.

Nicolas has performed with Mécénat Musica Artist in residence Karina Gauvin and created at the Maison symphonique the Mécénat Musica composition RR10 Vieux Montréal by 2014-2018 Mécénat Musica composer in residence Matthias Maute.

About Nicolas Ellis

Nicolas Ellis has also guest conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia and the Ottawa Symphony and served as assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev at the Verbier Festival Academy 2019. In 2013, Ellis founded the Orchestre de l’Agora, an orchestra whose mission is to reinvent the role of classical musicians in society by giving them the power to collectively increase their impact on the world through their talent and commitment. Ellis and Agora have put up various social projects in their community through collaborations with Share the Warmth Foundation, Porteurs de musique and Hospital Ste-Justine’s Espace transition.

Collaborations by Nicolas Ellis:

Nicolas Ellis & Orchestre de l’Agora : Corelli – Concerto grosso, in D major, op.6 no 7, Part 1

Nicolas Ellis & Karina Gauvin, soprano, Mécénat Musica Artiste en résidence – J.S. Bach / Goundod – Ave Maria

Previous Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer Collaborative Emerging Artist recipients include:
Philip Chiu, piano 2015 -2016; Marc Djokic, violon 2017-2018; Lara Deutsch, flûte 2019-2020

Mécénat Musica is a cultural program by donors for donors. Mécénat Musica’s makes a sustainable contribution to the health of all, by supporting health, music, and culture. During the pandemic, Mécénat Musica program distributed $1.5 million to 35 Quebec cultural organizations, and Mécénat Musica Mini-Concerts Santé (Prix Opus Événement musical de l’année 2020) provided $510,000 for music delivery of 4,900 free door-to-door outdoor concerts for social and mental health to 36,000 people in 648 disadvantaged streets in Québec & Ontario. The total distributed by Mécénat Musica programs during the pandemic for health, music & culture is $2.0 million.

During the pandemic, Mécénat Musica has launched several health, music, and community initiatives to reduce the impact of this unparalleled crisis on the psychological, social, and mental health of communities, including Mécénat Musica: Artist in residence, Mini-Concerts Santé, Music for Hope, Mini-Galas Santé, and Prix 3 Femmes – dedicated to developing new operas by emerging women Canadian composers and librettists.