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Guest Composer

Miguel del Aguila, Guest Composer Fall 2023

Miguel del Aguila (photo: Donna Granata)Three-time Grammy nominated American composer Miguel del Aguila (photo: Donna Granata) was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. In more than 130 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, which enjoys over 200 performances yearly, has been hailed as “brilliant and witty “(The New York Times), “sonically dazzling” (LATimes) and “exquisitely imaginative” (Fanfare).

He was 2021 composer in residence with Danish Chamber Players/Ensemble Storstrøm, Denmark; following residences with Orchestra of the Americas, New Mexico Symph, and festivals Fresh Ink, CTSummerfest, Talis, Chautauqua and Saint Maló. Recent commissions include works for John Hopkins Center for the Arts, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Eroica Trio, Kalliope, and Fivebyfive.

Awatds received include 3 Latin Grammy nominations for CD Salón Buenos Aires, for Clocks; and for Concierto en Tango; Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, New Music USA/Music Alive, Magnum Opus Award, Lancaster Symph. Composer of the Year, and Copland Foundation.

His multicultural background gives his music international appeal and presence with performances by over 100 orchestras, thousands of ensembles, soloists, and 56 CD recordings. This list includes Chicago, Welsh BBC, Royal Liverpool, Norwegian Radio Orch, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, Orchestra of the Americas, Orquesta de Asturias; Kiev, Odessa, Heidelberg, México, Brooklyn; Buffalo, Louisiana, Rhode Island and Sacramento philharmonic orchestras; and Chicago, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, Albany, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Long Beach, Virginia, Newark, Augusta, Fort Worth, Memphis, Omaha, Santa Barbara, Sarasota, Spokane, Chautauqua, Codarts, Reykjavík, Caracas, Puerto Rico, Sao Paulo, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama symphonies.

Artists who premiered, recorded or performed his works include: Leonard Slatkin, JoAnn Falletta, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Lukas Foss, Gerard Schwarz, Jorge Mester, Guillermo Figueroa, David Allan Miller, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Andrew Litton, Eckart Preu, Ken Masur, José Luis Novo, Jose Arean, and Maximiano Valdés; as well as: LA Chamber Orchestra, Sphinx Virtuosi, Windscape, PNME, SOLI, Chicago Phil. Ch. Players, MACE, New Juilliard Ens, Camerata de las Americas, Philadelphia Ch. Ens, Collegium Novum Zürich, Kammerensemble Classic, Imani, FifthHouse, Pentaèdre, Alcan, Arianna, Invoke, Pacifica, Verona quartets, WindSync, Olmos, Onix, Manuel Barrueco and Richard Stoltzman.

Recent and upcoming CDs include his Giant Guitar/Norwegian Radio Orch; Broken Rondo/Louisiana Phil; Miami Suite/Nestor Torres; Orchestra Works/Augusta Symph; Clarinet Piano works/Javier Vinasco; Piano Quintets/Cuarteto Latinoamericano; Barroqueada/Eroica Trio, and CDs by Annex, and Q-Arte on Naxos, Dorian, Telarc, New Albion, Albany, Centaur and Eroica. Recent performances include Eastern Music, Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, New Hampshire, Saarburg, Music in the Vineyards, Cervantino, Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva, and Chelsea festivals.

A sought after guest as lecturer, advisor and curator; he serves as Barlow Endowment’s Board of Advisors member, and joined United States Artists Fellowships, Camino de la Fe competition, and Cayambis Music Press judge panels. Master classes/residencies include U.of Michigan, U.of Illinois, Vanderbilt, Lynn, U.of Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Colombia’s Univ. Nacional and EAFIT. His music is published by Peermusic Classical, Th.Presser and self-published.

After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory he continued studies at Universität für Musik un Darstellende Kunst and Music and Arts University of Vienna. Early works premiered in Musikverein, Konzerthaus and Bösendorfer halls were hailed by the press as “dancing with incendiary rhythms” with “near to obsessive vitality” (Wiener Zeitung). In 1986 his works were introduced in New York at Carnegie Recital Hall and by Lukas Foss/Brooklyn Philharmonic. His first CDs released 1989 on KKM, Sony-Austria and Albany Records.

Soon after his US return LATimes praised him as “one of the West Coast’s most promising young composers.” and San Antonio Express-News as “One of the more intriguing compositional voices to come along in recent years“. He currently lives in Seattle.

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