Julio Estrada was born in Mexico on April 10th, 1943. His parents were Spanish political refugees, settled in Mexico since 1941.
Estrada studied composition in Mexico with Julián Orbón. In Europe he studied with Nadia Boulanger, Messiaen and J.E. Marie, and also attended courses with Xenakis, Stockhausen and Ligeti.
He has been invited to teach and do music research by the Stanford, San Diego and New Mexico universities, and has also taught in Brazil, Spain, Italy and Germany. He is a member of the Institute of Aesthetics and a professor of composition at the University of Mexico.
Estrada has written over a hundred articles that have been published in Mexico, the USA, Europe and Japan. Several books summarize his various researches. Presently he is writing Otra música which brings out the originality of indigenous American music. He also writes short stories of music science fiction.
His composition methods are based on the systematical analysis of the imaginary, starting point of an autonomous musical system. “The techniques and theories I have developed are based on mathematics and acoustics; the more neutral they remain, the better they serve the description of the imaginary: it is my ear—there everything is allowed—that gives birth to my music, which becomes the accurate, almost phonographic representation, of every detail coming from my inner hearing experiences”.
Estrada’s music has been presented in numerous festivals on the American continent, in Europe and in Japan, by fine instrumentalists such as the Percussions de Strasbourg, Fátima Miranda, Barbara Maurer, Velia Nieto, Stefano Scodanibbio or the Arditti String Quartet. In 1992 the project for his opera Pedro Páramo unanimously won the CDMC competition of Madrid and of Radio2 Spain; the jury of the Prix de composition Prince Pierre de Monaco offered a special prize for ishini’ioni, considered as having: “a very original style that audaciously renews one of the oldest instrumental combinations”.