Esteban Alvarez was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica. His passion for music began at the age of 9 when his father brought home a small electronic keyboard. Fascinated by this, Esteban started to play by ear and to compose simple melodies. A year later Esteban began his music studies with Prof. Omar Arroyo up until his college journey began. At the age of 20, he was selected to arrange and conduct the music for the Escazu Folk-Music band at the SIVO Music Festival celebrated in Central Europe. A year later, he was awarded with a full scholarship to pursue a Bachelors degree in Classical Piano Performance at Baylor University, where he was nominated ambassador of culture during his sophomore year.
Esteban served as a pianist for the Jazz Ensemble, performing with worldwide renown artists such as Maria Schneider, Jon Faddis, and Wycliff Gordon. He was also selected to participate in the International Mission on Music, celebrated in Eastern Europe. After graduating with honors, Esteban was awarded with a full scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in the renown Jazz Studies Program at the University of North Texas, studying with Professor Dan Haerle, and Stefan Karlsson. During his time at UNT Esteban performed with several large Jazz Ensembles, including the Latin Jazz Ensemble and the Caribe Club, which featured him during the first International Jazz Festival of Costa Rica.
As a composer, Esteban has written music for small ensembles, orchestra, large ensembles, and chamber groups. In 2007 and 2008 Esteban wrote the songs for the National Peace Program of Costa Rica, and the Organization of Costa Rica & Nicaragua. In 2008 Esteban traveled to Guatemala, Qatar, and Nepal to represent Costa Rica performing in National Music Festivals, as well as speaking about peace and education. In 2009 Esteban was awarded with the UNT-DC scholarship to work in the Congress of the USA, as well as to serve as a Cultural Attache intern for Costa Rica embassy in Washington D.C.
Esteban relocated to Austin (Texas), where he is an EB-2 Visa Permanent Resident (a status for individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and are considered “Individuals of National Interest”), and he was recently nominated “Good Will Embassador” and guest Artist to the International Peace Foundation, based in Hong Kong. Esteban has appeared several times in solo concerts during 2012, 2013 and 2014 in Hong Kong, as well as in the National Theater of Costa Rica.
During 2013 Esteban was nominated “Steinway Artist”. Some of the names in this list include Lang Lang, Diana Krall, Arthur Rubinstein, Duke Ellington, Keith Jarrett, and others of this caliber. Click on the Steinway Gold Logo to find more information about this special nomination.
Esteban’s album “Tico Groove” was Awarded Best Album of 2015 by Akademia. For more information click here.
In 2017 Esteban embarked in a project with the largest and most prestigious Mariachi band in the world; Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan. He recorded the album “Piano Meets Mariachi”. During the same year he co-founded the non profit organization Music Peace Project, promoting humanitarian relieve where most needed through the art of music.
Esteban is currently the Executive Director of Chorus Austin (https://www.chorusaustin.org/execdir.html) and is an active world music concert pianist. His most recent projects will include compilation of world music from Cuba, Bolivia, and Serbia.