WVYB Strings Conductor
Nicholas Urquhart works as a conductor, double bassist, composer, arranger, and music educator.
He studied Double Bass at the Victoria Academy of Music and the University of Victoria, earning his Bachelor's in Music with distinction. There he was mentored by Janos Sandor and Yariv Aloni in orchestral conducting. Nicholas continued his conducting studies with Ken Hsieh, Bujar Llapaj and Jin Zhang. He also continued Double Bass studies with the principal double bass of the VSO, Ken Freidman. In addition, Nicholas has a degree in music education from UBC and a Master’s degree from Acadia University in music curriculum and pedagogy.
Nicholas has served as Assistant Conductor for the Vancouver Philharmonic and the Canada Day Pops Orchestra as well as the programming director and President of the West Coast Symphony.
Nicholas has directed numerous ensembles, including, the West Coast Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, Sunshine Coast Symphony, UVic Chamber Orchestra (a group which he founded), BCMEA Honour Orchestra, A Little Night Music Orchestra, Kabok Chamber Strings, Elgar Strings, St. James Academy Orchestra, Lord Byng Symphony Orchestra, Plastic Acid Chamber Strings and full orchestra, Canada Day Pops Orchestra, Surrey Youth Orchestra, I Musici Sushi Orchestra and New Westminster Symphony.
When Nicholas is not directing orchestras, he continues to perform as a freelance double bassist in chamber ensembles, orchestras, operas, and musicals. He also sits on the board of the IBB (Instruments Beyond Borders), a foundation dedicated to putting instruments in the hands of in need youth in Vancouver and worldwide (most notably in Paraguay)
Nicholas is a clinician with the Vancouver and Burnaby school boards and has been an adjudicator for the Kiwanis International Music Festival. He is the Strings Director of one of the largest public-school strings programs in B.C, at Killarney Secondary School (VSB).
Nicholas has been the music director of the Strings with WVYB since 2012 and has brought a vitality and verve to the program. He has grown the program to include two divisions (Concert and Symphonic), each of which yields impressive performances in festivals, private events, and public concerts.