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. At the age of 18 Esteban began his studies in Physics as well as Music at the University of Costa Rica, where he learned the basics of classical music. 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 studied with Dr. Terry Lynn Hudson and Dr. Vincent DeFries.
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. He attended master classes by Chris Potter, Dave Brubeck, John Abercrombie, Jonathan Kreisberg, among others. 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. These songs received special awards by Dr. Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Laureate and President of Costa Rica at that time. 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 latest album “Tico Groove” was Awarded Best Album of 2015 by Akademia. For more information click here.