Three-time Grammy nominated American composer Miguel del Aguila was born 1957 in Montevideo, Uruguay. In more than 120 works that couple drama and driving rhythm with nostalgic nods to his South American roots, he has established himself as one of the most distinctive and highly regarded composers of his generation. His music has been performed worldwide by over 96 orchestras, by thousands of ensembles and soloists, and recorded on 45 CDs.
Del Aguila’s training and early professional experience took place in both the U.S. and Europe. After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music he traveled to Vienna, where he studied at the Hochschule für Musik and Konservatorium. Early premieres of his works in Vienna’s Musikverein, Konzerthaus and Bösendorfer halls won him praise from audiences and press who described his music as “dancing with incendiary rhythms,” with “near to obsessive vitality" (Wiener Zeitung). While still living in Vienna, he introduced his piano works in New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall. Days later, Lukas Foss led the U.S. premiere of Hexen with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. CDs containing five of his works were released on KKM-Austria and Albany Records in 1989 and 1990.
Del Aguila returned to the U.S. in 1992, settling in the Los Angeles area. Soon thereafter the Los Angeles Times described him as "one of the West Coast's most promising and enterprising young composers." He received the prestigious Kennedy Center Friedheim Award in 1995, and was music director of Ojai Camerata 1996 to 1999. In the 1990s his works were first performed at Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Opera House, and in Moscow, Vienna, Zurich, Budapest, Prague, Tokyo, and Rome. From 2001 to 2004 del Aguila was Resident Composer at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he performed as pianist and contributed several new works each year.
In 2005 he began a two-year Composer in Residence position with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, made possible by a New Music USA/Music Alive Award. His residency culminated in the fully-staged premiere of his third opera Time and Again Barelas, commemorating Albuquerque’s tricentennial. He was honored with a New Music USA Magnum Opus/Kathryn Gould Award in 2008, resulting in the orchestral tone poem The Fall of Cuzco, which has been performed by The Buffalo Philharmonic, and by Nashville, Virginia, Sao Paulo State, and Winnipeg symphony orchestras. He received the Lancaster Symphony Composer of the Year Award 2009, as well as awards from The Copland Foundation and the Argosy Foundation among others.
In 2010 he was honored with two Latin Grammy nominations, for the CD Salón Buenos Aires (five chamber works on Bridge Records) and for the composition Clocks from that album. In 2015 he received a third Grammy nomination for his cello concerto: Concierto en Tango which, within two years after its premiere has already been scheduled 26 orchestra performances worldwide. Other labels that have recorded his works include Naxos, Dorian, Telarc, New Albion, Albany, Centaur and Eroica. His music is published by Peermusic Classical. - 8/2016
His busy 2016-2017 Season includes hundreds of chamber performances as well as orchestra performances in the U.S. by the Albany, Spokane, Virginia, New Bedford and New West Symphony Orchestras; the Cincinnati and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras; New Hampshire and Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestras; Vanderbilt Symphony, University of Utah Philharmonia, and Mission Chamber Orchestra. European and Latin American performances/premieres include those by the Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg, Jenaer Philharmonie, Orchester der Universität Bremen in Germany, Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, Filarmónica de Boca del Río y Sinfónica de la UANL in Mexico, Camerata Panamá, Orquestas Sinfónica de Caracas, Sinfónica Juvenil de Colombia, Orquestas de la UNAL Bogotá, Sinfónica EAFIT de Medellín and Sinfónica de Salta and Mendoza UNCuyo Orchestra in Argentina.
2016-2017 festival performances and appearances include the Prague Spring Festival in Czeck Republic, Antena 2 Festival, Lisbon, Talis Festival Switzerland, Red Lodge Festival (Montana), Focus, Chelsea Festival and Latin American Cultural Week in NYC, West Wight Chamber Music Festival UK, Music in the Mountains CO, Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Mexico, Celebrity Series at MacMaster University (Canada), Festival de Música Latinoamericana Colombia, Festival de Santa Catarina Brazil, Festival Internacional Saint Malo Panama, International Double Reed Society, International Flute Society Conventions and ClarinetFest, Istanbul Woodwind Festival, Chamber Music with Andrew Litton, Prilep and Skopje Cultural Summer Macedonia, Vrnjci Festival Serbia, Encuentro Nacional de Fagot Mexico, Festival de Clarinetes de Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Paraguay, Festival Internacional de Flauta Honduras. Recent masterclasses as Composer in Residence included Talis Festival Academy, Vanderbilt University, Conservatorio Nacional de Colombia, and EAFIT University, Medellín.
Three CDs with five recent works were released in 2016, featuring the TransAtlantic Ensemble, Q-Arte Quartet, Javier Vinasco and Hat Trick Trio.
Upcoming orchestra performances include Australia Ensemble Sydney, Stockton Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Acapulco Mexico; as well as performances and appearances at Icelandic Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills, Austin Chamber Music Center, Monadnock Music Festival NH, ClarinetFest and National Flute Association Conventions 2017.
"...elegant and affectionate music ...a delicious send-up of Minimalism ...with genuine wit.." - The New York Times
"...irresistible rhythms… powerfully propelled by frantic tempos..." - San Francisco Sentinel
Miguel del Aguila and Guillermo Figueroa rehearsing opera:
TIME AND AGAIN BARELAS
Three-time Grammy nominated American composer Miguel del Aguila was born 1957 in Montevideo, Uruguay. In more than 120 works that couple drama and driving rhythm with nostalgic nods to his South American roots, he has established himself among the most distinctive and highly regarded composers of his generation. His music has been performed worldwide by over 96 orchestras, by thousands of ensembles and soloists, and recorded on 45 CDs.
He was honored in 2010 with two Latin Grammy nominations, for his CD Salón Buenos Aires, and for his work Clocks. 2015 he received a third Grammy nomination for Concierto en Tango which two years after its premiere has been scheduled for 27 orchestra performances worldwide. His works are recorded on Naxos, Dorian, Telarc, New Albion, Albany, Centaur and Eroica, among others. He is published by Peermusic.
After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory he studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna where early premieres of his works won him praise from audiences and press. In 1989 he introduced his music at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall, Lukas Foss premiered his Hexen with Brooklyn Philharmonic and his first CDs were released.
After 10 years in Vienna, Aguila returned to the U.S. in 1992 where soon the Los Angeles Times described him as "one of the West Coast's most promising young composers." He received the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award 1995and by the 1990s his works were performed at Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Opera House, and in most European capitals. 2001-2004 he was Resident Composer at Chautauqua Festival and 2005-2007 Composer in Residence with the New Mexico Symphony through a New Music USA/Music Alive Award. His residency culminated in premiere of his third opera Time and Again Barelas. He received a New Music USA/Magnum Opus Award in 2008, the Lancaster Symphony Composer of the Year Award 2009 and Copland Foundation awards among others.
"...outstanding composer... The music of Miguel del Aguila leaves no one indifferent..." Dina Mukhamedzyanova, Music of Russia
"An internationally recognized compositional voice and talent, Miguel del Aguila creates fresh, spontaneous music often colored by Latin and World Music idioms, and with a healthy respect for the classical tradition and form. What results is a captivating interplay of classical balance and romantic excess. His penchant for devising programs for his own works further enhances his highly dramatic style in which musical ideas, always simple and recognizable, are pushed to extremes by propulsive rhythms and adventurous instrumentation" Todd Vunderink, Peermusic
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