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 ArtistDuring the pandemic, $50,000 of the prize creates $1,000,000 Mécénat Musica Orchestre de l’Agora endowment fund.

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.

“I am honored to receive the Prix Goyer Mécénat Musica. Being awarded to artists for the richness and variety of their artistic collaborations, artistic excellence and commitment to the community, I thank all the musicians and cultural institutions with whom I have the privilege of working. The musicians of the Orchestre de l’Agora are at the forefront, but also the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with whom I act as Artistic Collaborator, as well as the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, which I have had the pleasure of conducting many times in the past year as guest conductor. I am of course immensely grateful to all the Mécénat Musica donors who have made this award possible. Thank you!”

– Nicolas Ellis, conductor


Photo credit: Maxime Girard-Tremblay