Nicolas Ellis

“This young chameleon musician is a phenomenon.”

– Christophe Huss, Le Devoir

Nicolas Ellis is Music Director of the Orchestre National de Bretagne, Principal Guest Conductor of Les Violons du Roy, as well as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orchestre de l’Agora, which he founded in Montreal in 2013. 

Known for his versatility in a vast repertoire, Nicolas has distinguished himself with the Orchestre de l’Agora by the conception of concerts with a dramaturgical approach. In collaboration with the Opéra de Montréal, the Agora has presented a number of opera projects in atypical venues in Montreal, including The Turn of the Screw which took place in an industrial warehouse, and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges presented at the Théâtre le Paradoxe, a church converted into a performance space that offers arts training to marginalized youths. In addition, concerts such as Electra and Iphigenia featuring the music of Mozart, Gluck and Haydn with soprano Karina Gauvin, and Bach, le voyage éphémère, used unique lighting effects to create  immersive musical experiences for a wide variety of audiences. Alongside the Orchestre de l’Agora, Nicolas won a JUNO award in the Classical Album of the Year, Large Ensemble category for the album Viola Borealis featuring violist Marina Thibeault. Agora also won the Opus Prize for Musical Event of the Year for the Gala de la Terre featuring Mahler’s 3rd symphony, a major fundraising event for several environmental organizations. The eclecticism of Agora’s repertoire as well as the talent and curiosity of its musicians constitute the core of the ensemble’s artistic identity, as demonstrated by its recent critically acclaimed productions of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea and the contemporary music showcase titled Big Bang. In keeping with the Agora’s outreach mission, Nicolas has set up musical creation projects with teenagers coping with mental illness, educational workshops for children, and a series of monthly concerts for the inmates at the Bordeaux Prison in Montreal.

Nicolas is one of the most active conductors on the Canadian scene. He has been invited to conduct the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. In the 2023-2024 season, he will make his American debut with the San Diego Symphony and will also be conducting Le Nozze di Figaro at the Opéra de Montréal and Die Fledermaus at the Opéra de Québec.

Among the musical encounters and projects that have strongly influenced him are his former position as Artistic Collaborator of the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin from 2018 to 2023, and his role as assistant conductor to Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion in opera productions at the Opéra comique, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the Salzburg Festival.

Nicolas Ellis is the recipient of the 2017 Fernand Lindsay Career Grant and has also been awarded the Prix Goyer Mécénat Musica 2021.


World-wide management

North America

Emmy Tu



Photos: François Goupil, Brent Calis, Brenden Friesen, Ludovic Rolland-Marcotte | Web design: Samuel Lalande-Markon