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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Faculty of Music

Laurier composition grad John Estacio honoured

Dec 9/11

"As the composer of some of this country's most successful operas and numerous other vocal and choral works, John is a natural choice for a competition of this calibre."
Dr. Peter Hatch, WLU Composition Professor

The 2012 Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC) in Voice will feature a composition by music grad John Estacio.

From May 28 to June 8, the competition in Montreal will host 32 of the finest artists in the world's new generation of opera singers. The laureates will receive over $150,000 CAD in prizes, grants, and engagements, including a $30,000 First Prize, and an opportunity to participate in a Career development programme valued at $20,000. The age limit for candidates is 33 years old (on January 1, 2012). The MIMC offers free transportation and accommodations to selected candidates. Candidates may apply online by visiting the competition website (click here).

The  nine-member jury for this year’s competition includes baritone Sir Thomas Allen, new chancellor of Durham University in the U.K (and a guest masterclass instructor at Laurier in  2007), soprano Edith D. Bers, chair of the voice department at The Julliard School, Dominique Meyer, director of the Wiener Staatsoper, and soprano Renata Scotto, who received a tribute as a “Met Legend” in February 2011.

The compulsory Canadian work in the competition will be an original composition by Estacio.  Composition Professor Dr. Glenn Buhr, who received the same honour in 1989 (as Estacio was graduating from Laurier's composition program), says the task is challenging: "It's a tricky problem. The one orchestral song has to work for all voice ranges." He notes that Estacio has written for many voices, including most recently, Ben Heppner.

Kimberly Barber, administrative co-ordinator of Laurier’s opera program, also says Estacio's history suggests success:  “John Estacio has a strong record of composition for the voice, having now composed three major operas for Canadian companies--the most celebrated of these being Filumena, which was telecast nationally and received enormous critical acclaim. He writes beautiful, lyrical lines that suit voices and it is wonderful to see that his talents are being showcased in this major international vocal competition, providing the piece that some of the world's finest emerging vocal artists will test their mettle in.”

The MIMC, founded in 2002 at the initiative of Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, plays a key role in the finest tradition of classical concert music. The Competition seeks to discover, reward, and support young singers, violinists, and pianists who have distinguished themselves as masters of their art. Since the very first edition, dedicated to voice, in 2002, over 1,700 candidates have applied to take part in the various editions, and, of these, more than 300 have performed in Montreal.

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