Eugene Astapov
RBC Associate Composer/Conductor


The Grand Prize winner of the 2019 SOCAN Foundation’s Young Composer Awards Dr. Eugene Astapov is a composer-conductor whose music combines the “richness of harmony” (New York Times) with a “haunting and soothing” narrative atmosphere (Calgary Herald). A graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City, who studied with Christopher Rouse and Robert Beaser, Astapov has shared his music with audiences of different nationalities and backgrounds around the globe. The concert halls of New York’s Lincoln Center, the Salle Cortot in Paris, the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Sejong Hall in Seoul, the Banff Centre, the Grafenegg Festival in Vienna, the Ravinia Music Festival and the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver are a few venues among many others where his works have been performed. In 2019 Dr. Astapov was the featured composer at a number of international events including the renowned Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong where he was awarded the Audience Choice Prize, followed by appearances at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, in addition to completing a seven-concert tour across British Columbia with the Rolston String Quartet featuring a brand new commissioned piece.

As a prolific creator of music for large orchestral forces, Dr. Astapov has worked and collaborated with a number of major orchestras across Canada and around the world, some of which include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Lower Austria, Moravian Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and L’Orchestre de la Francophonie. Currently Mr. Astapov maintains a busy schedule composing, conducting and educating the upcoming generation of young musicians. As a conductor Eugene’s interests are laser focused on the promotion and dissemination of the music of living composers. Having worked with Esprit Orchestra for a number years, Eugene has led multiple world premieres of the works of his colleagues, as well as his own. 

In addition to his orchestral works, Astapov is an active composer of solo and chamber music, and is currently working on Contemplations, a project that creates sets of pieces for various solo instruments. Eugene Astapov holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Toronto and his artistic activity is supported in part by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the SOCAN Foundation.


Esprit Orchestra’s RBC Associate Composer/Conductor Program provides mentoring and practical, professional leadership training and experience for an emerging conductor who is also a composer. This two-year position includes opportunities to write a new work for the full orchestra, to conduct selected pieces at public concerts, to interact with Canadian and international composers, and to connect with stakeholders, audiences and the media. Esprit’s RBC Associate Composer/Conductor Program is made possible with generous support from the RBC Foundation through the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

Read the full press release