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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 5, 2016
Canadian Excellence

John Estacio
John Estacio

Headlines (Campus Updates)

Laurier Inspires

Laurier music alumnus receives prestigious residency with the National Arts Centre

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Dec 9/09

John Estacio (BMus ’89) is one of only three composers to receive commissions and a residency with the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa, a prestigious award valued at $75,000.

Estacio will create three new music works for the NAC Orchestra over the next five years, and will teach students during the NAC’s annual Summer Music Institute.

“On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the award recipients,” said Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages James Moore in a statement. “We have a thriving contemporary music scene in Canada, and these awards being presented today are a great way to further its development.”

The NAC grants the NAC Award to three prominent Canadian contemporary composers to ensure that Canadian repertoire takes centre stage. Estacio is one of Canada’s most frequently performed and broadcasted composers, and has served as Composer in Residence for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Calgary Opera and Pro Coro Canada.

Estacio’s CD Frenergy, the Music of John Estacio, earned him two Juno nominations and a Western Canadian Music Award. His soundtrack for the film The Secret of the Nutcracker received an Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association Award. His most recent opera, Frobisher, premiered in Calgary and Banff in 2007, and his first opera, Filumena, has been remounted five times and was filmed for television.

Having recently completed a cantata for chorus and orchestra, and a sinfonietta for the Victoria Symphony, Estacio has also written for the Vancouver Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the CBC Radio Orchestra. His works have been performed by numerous Canadian and international orchestras, and his frequent performances earned him the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada’s Concert Music Award in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Estacio resides in Edmonton, Alberta, and is currently working on his third opera with librettist John Murrell, Lillian Alling, to be premiered by the Vancouver Opera in 2010.

The NAC Award was established in 2002, with Gary Kulesha, Denys Bouliane and Alexina Louie receiving the inaugural residencies. This year’s award winners also include Peter Paul Koprowski and Ana Sokolovic.

To learn more about Estacio, visit his website:


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