Born: April 8th, 1966 – Newmarket, Ontario


A few facts about John Estacio

  • Estacio grew up on his family farm in Holland Landing, north of Toronto.


  • As a boy Estacio studied piano and accordion. He also  played the organ at his church for Sunday services.


  • In high school he performed in musicals and wrote the scores for short films he and his friends created.


  • Visoes da Noite Estacio’s first major orchestral work won second place in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Canadian Composers Competition in 1992.  He was also awarded a commission from the WSO for a second work.


  • He has been composer in residence for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro Canada, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Calgary Opera.


  • In 2003 he received his first JUNO nomination for his string quartet Test Run. He was to be nominated again in 2005 for A Farmer’s Symphony and in 2015 for Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra – A CONCERT FOR NEW YORK



A full biography of Mr. Estacio may be found on his website at:



His compositions 


  • Estacio’s website lists over 23 orchestral works, 4 operas, 1 ballet, choral works and chamber pieces.


  • His orchestral performance piece I Lost My Talk was commissioned by the family of former Prime Minister Joe Clark to celebrate his 75th We were privileged to hear it when the NAC Orchestra performed it in Charlottetown in 2018 under conductor Alexander Shelley. The composer was here for the performance at the Confederation Centre.


  • Estacio composed Seven Songs by Jean Sebelius an orchestral arrangement of songs by the first composer on today’s programme. It was premiered by Ben Heppner and the TSO in 2006 and has since been performed around the world.


  • In 2014 he wrote his first ballet score. King Arthur’s Camelot was commissioned by the Cincinnati Ballet and premiered in 2014.  It has proved a popular piece and was revived by the company in 2017.


  • Several of his operas have focused on people whose stories are little known but are part of Canada’s history – Lillian Alling, who attempted to walk from New York to Siberia through Canada’s frozen north; Filumena, the only woman to be hanged in Alberta; and Ours, the story of Thomas Nangle, Newfoundland in World War I and the Battle of the Somme.


  • His compositions have been recorded by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and most recently the National Art Centre. His opera Filumena was recorded for television by CBC and broadcast on both the CBC and PBS.


In an interview prior to the first performance of the Trumpet Concerto by the TSO in January 2018 John Estacio spoke of the new work and composing for the future:



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