Juan Jose Restrepo is a conductor, violinist and composer, whose vibrant career has spanned a range of diverse international settings. Awarded his master’s degree in orchestral conducting in 2020 from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, where he studied with Maestro Toomas Kapten, Restrepo has actively conducted various professional orchestras, namely the Vanemuine String Orchestra Ensemble, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and also the Olomouc Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, as well as youth orchestras, such as the Nõmme Music School Symphony Orchestra and the Harjumaa String Orchestra. Within the frameworks of numerous international masterclasses, he has worked with esteemed conductors including Alexander Polyanichko (Marinsky Theater) and Alim Shakh (Chief Conductor, Novosibirsk Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra). Domestically, in Estonia, he has further benefitted from collaboration with Juri Alperten (Estonian National Opera), Arvo Volmer (Chief Conductor, Estonian National Opera), Olari Elts (Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Estonian National Orchestra), Paul Mägi (Professor, Estonian Academy of Music and Theater), and Risto Joost (Chief Conductor, Vanemuie Theater).
Since 2015, Restrepo has been a violinist with the Vanemuine Theater Symphony Orchestra in Tartu, Estonia, where he has performed professionally in countless operas, ballets, musicals, and symphonic concerts. It is specifically this extensive, firsthand insight, gained by working within the orchestra, that distinguishes him as a conductor. By drawing upon this deep-seated knowledge of the inner workings of the orchestra, as conductor Restrepo is able to relate to and communicate effectively with the musicians. What’s more, Restrepo taps into this substantial experience in the world of music to also compose. He has written music and arrangements for string quartets, symphony orchestras, and also solo piano pieces, violin and piano duos, and chamber orchestra music. He has interpreted his own compositions for violin in chamber music concerts in Colombia, as well as Estonia, where he performed his piece “Atnova” as a soloist with the Tartu University Symphony Orchestra in 2016.
In addition to his performance-centered musical career, Juan Jose has a wealth of pedagogical experience. He has served as a violin teacher in institutions such as the Colombian National Youth Orchestra and the Central University of Colombia, where he acted as teaching assistant for Professor Rodrigo Cottier. Since 2017, he has been a violin teacher at the Võru Music School in Estonia.
In 2015, Restrepo was awarded his master’s degree, cum laude, in violin performance from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, where he studied as a recipient of the Archimedes Foundation’s Dora Scholarship. Within the framework of his master’s program, Juan Jose studied violin interpretation with Mary Tampere Bezrodny and composition with Toivo Tulev and Tapio Tuomela. Along with his studies, he took active part in violin masterclasses, performances in chamber and symphonic concerts, and participated in European tours with youth orchestras, including the Norden Orchestra of Denmark, the Animato Orchestra of Central Europe, and the Tallinn International Youth Orchestra, with which he performed in Spain and Russia.
Originally from Colombia, Restrepo began his musical studies in violin with the National Batuta Foundation in 2001. During his formative years, he studied at the Colombian National Conservatory of Music, and in 2013 he obtained his bachelor’s degree in music and violin interpretation from the Central University of Colombia. Throughout the 2000’s, he built his emerging career as a violinist in myriad symphonic and opera productions with orchestras such as the Colombian Central University Camerata, the Colombian National Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. He played in concerts of the National Conservatory of Peru’s Violin Festival and benefitted from masterclasses of the International Music Festival of Cartagena, Colombia. 2006-7, as an international student in Taiwan, he was part of the Taipei Civic Symphony Orchestra, in which he was the youngest musician.