the music of Miguel del Aguila

Miguel del Aguila, Marin Alsop Michael Daugherty at Cabrillo Music Festival's performance of CONGA

Miguel del Aguila, Roman Mekinulov and Joann Falletta at CONCIERTO EN TANGO performance in Albany, NY

BOLIVIANA
"...Brilliant..."

El Día (Córdoba, Spain)



CARIBEÑA
“…Miguel del Aguila, splashed Brazilian color and excitement all over the first twelve minutes of the evening. This excitement from a young, powerful composer keeps classical music in full motion, even in the 21st century…”

Dulluth Reader

“With a 1940's big band style dance frenzy...the piece is a fascinating and compelling soundscape.  Urgently driven by Latin rhythms, the desperate dance is finally overwhelmed by the orchestration's sinister edge and driven to an explosive climax. Santa Barbara News-Press


CLOCKS

"brilliant and witty... a delicious sticky-fingered fairground dance, a gaudy, virtuosic whirl spun from stolen time"
Corina Wollheim, New York Times 2017


CONCIERTO EN TANGO
 “…His Concierto is catchy, sensuous, rhythmically stimulating and colorful… a 20-minute rhapsody with …sinuous, tuneful, lively, pretty-nearly danceable tango music…”

American Record Guide
 
 “This weekend’s Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concert at Kleinhans Music Hall featured one of the longest and loudest rounds of applause I can recall. It occurred after principal cellist Roman Mekinulov had performed the new Concierto en Tango, written for him by Miguel del Aguila. …the big crowd of listeners, almost all of them on their feet, cheered and cheered.
…This good-natured piece, an homage to tango, clearly took real skill to put together. It is shot through with tango rhythms, many outlined by Del Aguila himself on the piano. Mekinulov was poised for the challenge and his enthusiasm showed in his playing... He gave a rich assertiveness to his melodies, which were the type of melodies that grab you and that you can remember…The music sways and dips like tango dancers…The piece grew kind of addictive, with its rhythm and zing. The last section struck a gentler tone, with slinky, chromatic lines. It was a little like “La Valse” in that it grew to a ferocious high point, with groans from the cello and crashing cymbals. It made you want to stand up and cheer, and the crowd did.”

The Buffalo News

“The thrill of a world premiere rocked Kleinhans Music Hall as the Buffalo Philharmonic gave the world its first ever opportunity to hear Concierto en Tango for cello and orchestra… The performance  was spectacular… The audience showed overwhelming enthusiasm for the work, and applauded until conductor, soloist and composer had returned at least a dozen times to acknowledge their enthusiasm.”
The Post-Journal, Jamestown, NY

“…catchy, sensuous, rhythmically stimulating and colorful… Nostalgic listeners (like me) will hear echoes… in the music’s emotional fervency of the lush,  extroverted, between-the-wars cinematic film scores that have come to epitomize “romance”…  American Record Guide
 
 “… a robust masterpiece that seamlessly blends the Latin-flavored rhythms of Central and South America with Mahler-like gravitas…”  Scene Magazine, London



CONGA
"Aguila's dizzying Conga was for me the program's highlight. The work was intoxicating with mesmerizing conga rhythms, bird calls, whistles, and percussion-rich craziness...this wild ride was jazzy and Gerwshin-esque. The frenzied climax ...was breathtaking" - The Morning Call, Santa Cruz, CA

"The orchestra, under the exceptional leadership of Dirk Meyer, continued to a stunning ....and a sizzling Conga for Orchestra by Miquel del Aguila. With layers of rhythm, a sensual bolero and a final urban frenzy like a Miami hurricane, it brought the house to its feet..."

Herald Tribune Sarasota FL

“The closest thing to a fixed style was Mr. Aguila's delicious send-up of Minimalism during his "Conga-Line in Hell."  Here, sequences in stepwise motion career out of control ... Mr. Aguila's deft tribute to the conga rhythm had genuine wit, its parodies of Latin America's seedier pop styles delicious and never overripe.  ...elegant and affectionate music..."

The New York Times



NOSTÁLGICA and MALAMBO

"Aguila pieces were as sunny and accessible as the suddenly-blue Cleveland skies after a dreary week of rain... Bassoonists who have access to a string quartet ... should rush to get their hands on these pieces."

Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical


SALON BUENOS AIRES CD
"This is vibrant, colorful music, often pulsating with a tremendous rhythmic vitality."
Fanfare

"Miguel del Aguila's chamber music is that rarest of things: unmistakably modern music built around a core of fundamental grace."

CD Hotlist for Libraries

"I discovered this [CD] through a review by Frank Oteri at New Music Box. On the strength of one track,
I bought it instantly, and can't stop listening to it." Seems appropriate for a CD that contains a movement called "Obsessed Milonga." Dilettante Online Magazine, UK


SUBMERGED - for flute, viola and piano

​​"magical and totally unclassifiable...widely exuberant...exquisitely imaginative...an absolutely mesmerizing new work to the repertoire" Ronald Grames, Fanfare

"The opening section... scarcely prepared the listener for the second half. Here, the music dropped in both tempo and volume to create an incredible atmosphere, almost diametrically opposed to the first. I was absolutely mesmerized by this, so much so that I stopped what I was doing and just listened hard, absorbing it all in. Quite exquisite!"
Lynn Bayley - The Art Music Lounge Online Journal

"...a dramatic narrative of wonder mixed with an almost existential loneliness. A superb new addition to the repertoire ….” Alison Young - HarpColumn.com

“…panels of joyous and energetic Latin-American character with an underwater section in the middle. All the sound colors are vivid and practically too good to be true..."

Gorman - American Record Guide

PIANO CONCERTO
"...Terse harmonies and mock melodrama meet in this piece as the pianist rolls out florid keyboard sweeps and occasionally asks orchestral musicians to sing.  The music ends up spinning into controlled anarchy, a cockeyed grin intact.

The Los Angeles Times



TIME AND AGAIN BARELAS
“…blessed with the high degree of musicality from a composer with a mature, assured voice…uniquely accessible yet adventurous writing. At times, swatches of liturgical musical language are matched to del Aguila’s contemporary lyricism, and neo-romantic colours are wielded gracefully.  Machinations of minimalism appear as light seasonings and hints of vernacular styles, from swing era dance pulses to Latin American flavours, flow naturally through the score… Amid majestic musical themes, in the finale comes another del Aguila trademark – a flare-up of deliciously dissonant anarchy at the ending…”
Opera Now Magazine, London, UK

“... “Time and Again Barelas" is del Aguila's third opera. It displayed his command of an arresting musical vocabulary that is marked by a complex yet infectious rhythmic vitality...”  Albuquerque Journal



WIND QUINTET No.2
One of the more intriguing compositional voices to come along in recent years belongs to Miguel del Aguila, who combines classical techniques with the dance rhythms of his native Uruguay and the Hollywood pop of his adopted California... "In Heaven"...develops into a boisterous party dance with woozy sliding notes, making heaven sound like a lot more fun than it probably is.
San Antonio Express-News

The music shifts from rough, primitivist folk-inspired airs to Latin flavors and Middle Eastern tonalities.  As with much of Aguila's music, nothing is as straight or explicable as it might seem.
He makes contemporary music of a rugged, easy-to-digest sort.
The Los Angeles Times

The Del Aguila Wind Quintet proved to be brilliant and proved to be provocative. It is fun to listen to. ... it is also a "smoker" that will surely become part of the permanent repertory of quintet music played around the world.

Santa Barbara News-Press

"...vibrant, colorful music, often pulsating with a tremendous rhythmic vitality." - Fanfare

press

Work Specific notes / reviews

Press Quotes

"…dependably brilliant…" - The New Yorker Magazine


"..elegant and affectionate music ..a delicious send-up of Minimalism ..with genuine wit.." -The New York Times

"…One of the West Coast's most promising and enterprising young composers… sonically dazzling …a whirlwind of energy and ideas …a mischievous mix of personalized romanticism and structural self-derailment …a sly radical in formal wear…" - Los Angeles Times

"…one of the most intriguing compositional voices to come along in recent years…" - San Antonio Express News

"..irresistible rhythms… powerfully propelled by frantic tempos pleasantly demented piece..disarmingly genial.."
San Francisco Sentinel

"...cinematic effects..." - Washington Post

"...Wonderfully expressive and dramatic music… with a fine sense of direction and drama.."
American Record Guide

"…unusual…superb…" - Fanfare

"…his music dances with incendiary rhythms…with near to obsessive vitality…" - Wiener Zeitung, Vienna

"…disarmingly charming…" - Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich

"…his works show a modern musical conception with profound ideas and expressivity…"
Novoe Vremia, Moscow

"...an outstanding composer... The music of Miguel del Aguila leaves no one indifferent..." - Music of Russia


​"...vivacious rhythmic...inspired musicianship, and a window into the creative realm of some of the Western Hemisphere’s most accomplished composers"
Mark Holston, LATINO Magazine 2017