As a boy, John Estacio grew up on the Holland Marsh, a fertile farming community in Southern Ontario. His passion, however, wasn’t farming; it was music. Specifically, he was determined to create. Renowned for composing operas, chamber and orchestral music, John regards composing as a way to tell stories. Once it’s on paper, collaboration transforms it again.
“The music is breathing, alive and filling the room. Creation is current, immediate — today.”
Composer John Estacio is a recipient of the National Arts Centre Award for Composers (2009)– a major prize that includes the commissioning of three works for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the first of which is Brio: Toccata and Fantasy for Orchestra. The NAC Orchestra premiered Mr. Estacio’s Brio in Ottawa and performed it on tour throughout Canada’s Atlantic provinces in 2011, during the China Tour in 2013, and the UK Tour in 2014. The UK Tour will also feature the world premiere of Mr. Estacio’s latest NAC commission, Wind Quintet.
Mr. Estacio has written three operas including Lillian Alling, which premiered in October 2010 by the Vancouver Opera. Filumena, his first opera, premiered in 2003 in Calgary and Banff, and went on to receive four Betty Mitchell Awards, including one for outstanding production. Filumena was filmed for television and broadcast on PBS and the CBC. As composer-in-residence for several orchestras, Mr. Estacio created several compositions and recorded some of them on the JUNO nominated CD “Frenergy, the Music of John Estacio,” released by CBC Records.
Mr. Estacio’s orchestral works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet featured several of Mr. Estacio’s orchestral works in Wonderland – a ballet choreographed by Shawn Hounsell. He composed an orchestral score for the new ballet King Arthur’s Camelot by the Cincinnati Ballet which premiered in February 2014. The Los Angeles Philharmonic and acclaimed tenor Ben Heppner toured Europe with Mr. Estacio’s arrangement of Seven Songs by Jean Sibelius.