John Kastelic is a talented multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, and arranger. He grew up in the town of Coalhurst in southern Alberta and has lived in Vancouver since 2005. He holds B.Mus degrees in composition and music scholarship from the University of British Columbia is sought-after as a freelance violist and violinist in BC and across Canada.
As a violist and violinist, John is comfortable playing and teaching a wide variety of styles. In the classical world, he performs regularly as violist with The Black Dog String Quartet and with orchestras across the province. He has acted as Concert Master with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and as Principal Viola with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. He is Principal Viola with the Vancouver-based Plastic Acid Orchestra.
John is equally at home performing all kinds of popular music, from pop to folk to metal. As a freelancer, he has played with such international artists as Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, and The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. With his brother, Tony, he heads up the folk rock outfit, No Mothers. He is also a member of the symphonic rock band, The Living, and the bluesy folk group, Leah Barley & The Converse Cowboys. Outside the world of western music, John has a long history with Balinese gamelan and is a member of Gamelan Bike Bike, which performs on gamelan instruments made of recycled bicycle parts.
As a composer and arranger, John has done work for theatre and recording. He has gained a reputation for lush, effective arrangements, particularly for strings. His orchestral composition, Below a Cloud, was read by the VSO in the 2011 Jean Coulthard Reading Session. He is currently working on a set of his own songs, arranged for string quartet, to be completed and recorded sometime in 2016.