Our Music Director
We’re thrilled to have the internationally renowned Maestro Bujar Llapaj as our conductor and director of music.
Born and raised in Albania, Maestro Llapaj studied at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania, and the Conservatoire National de Rueil-Malmaison in Paris.
Maestro Llapaj has won multiple awards and remains a prominent figure in the Balkan classical music scene. He has conducted concerts throughout Europe, and still travels abroad as a guest conductor. He immigrated to Canada in 2002, and has been principal conductor of the West Coast Symphony Orchestra since 2007.
Maestro Llapaj is known for his pursuit of excellence in both music and music education. As artistic director of the Albanian National Theater of Opera and Ballet, he showcased music by famous composers as well as world premières of works by upcoming Albanian composers.
He was the founding conductor and artistic director for the New Philharmonic Orchestra, a nonprofit group of Tirana’s best musicians whose first concert memorialized the victims of 9/11. He also chaired the department of conducting and singing at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, where he developed new programs in conducting and pedagogy.
Since joining us in 2021, Maestro Llapaj has made enormous progress in continuing to grow and develop the Ambleside Orchestra as an important North Shore arts organization.
Nicholas Urquhart is a conductor, double bassist, composer, arranger, and music educator.
He joined Ambleside Orchestra in 2023 as our associate conductor and director of string development.
Under his leadership, we’re developing a new Ambleside Orchestra String Ensemble as a feeder group for the Ambleside Orchestra’s string section.
Nick is the music director for the WYVB (West Vancouver Youth Band) Symphonic Strings, as well as director of the Killarney Secondary School strings program and principal conductor of the chamber orchestra Harmonia. He has directed numerous ensembles throughout the Lower Mainland.
Nick also performs as a freelance double bassist and serves on the board of Instruments Beyond Borders, a foundation that puts instruments into the hands of youth in need.