Miguel del Aguila



“…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…” The Washington Post

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

“…unusual…superb…” “vibrant, colorful music, often pulsating with a tremendous rhythmic vitality.” Fanfare

“…his music dances with incendiary rhythms…with near to obsessive vitality…” Wiener Zeitung, Vienna

“…disarmingly charming…” Neue 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…” The Music of Russia, Moscow

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“…vivacious rhythmic…inspired musicianship, and a window into the creative realm of some of the Western Hemisphere’s most accomplished composers” Latino Magazine, Washington DC


“…Brilliant…” El Día, Córdoba, Spain


“…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…” Duluth 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


brilliant and witty… a delicious sticky-fingered fairground dance, a gaudy, virtuosic whirl spun from stolen time” Carina Wollheim, The New York Times


“…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

“Concierto en tango … reúne la visión del solista con la del conjunto orquestal entremezclando las formas características de la música de esta región de América del Sur. Hay melodías, lírica expresividad pero también bloques sonoros de gran fuerza que generalmente se inician con algún poderoso recurso rítmico. Sus intensidades y su formidable fraseo me parece tienen que ver con el crisol de las diferentes razas afincadas en esta parte del planeta. Miguel del Aguila … ya acumuló inteligencia y cultura como para encontrar un idioma rico, lujoso, altamente dicente que despierta la necesidad de conocer más profundamente su notable visión de su música de carácter libertario y un lenguaje puesto en la tarea de buscar y obviamente encontrar la sensibilidad del oyente. Es como si las ideas llegaran empujándose pero manteniendo una fina construcción de poderosa estructura que en definitiva es la cualidad principal del concierto” – José Mario Carrer, Mundo Clásico, Argentina


“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

“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 Allentown, PA

“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…”The Herald Tribune, Sarasota Fl

“…a knockout…This piece really grabbed you by the throat and commanded your attention for twelve minutes. By the time we reached the frenzied climax of the piece, we were all ready to spring to our feet and yell, “Bravo”Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews, Santa Cruz, CA

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“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

“Far and away the most spirited and humanistic piece on the program”  Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice


“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

“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


​​”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!”  Lyn 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, Harp Column Magazine

“…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

“fire and spice! There is no mistaking his South American roots and the sheer joy of it is invigorating for the listener”  Jessica Dunnavant, Flutist Quarterly


“…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


“…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

“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


“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” 
 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

Miguel del Aguila Violin Concerto Review Santa Barbara Symphony Guillermo Figueroa Nir Kabaretti Granada Theater Voice Magazine Daniel Kepl West Coast premiere American music composers 2023

“Miguel del Águila’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 94, El viaje de una vida – The Journey of a Lifetime (2007), is a stunningly accessible if beastly difficult recent entrant in the violin concerto sweepstakes. Its four movements – Crossing the Ocean to a New World, In the Purple Land, The Return, and Finale – the violin soloist accepting the musical mantle of immigrant protagonist throughout the work, contemplate the gauntlet of physical as well as psychological challenges all travelers face when leaving their homeland for a foreign land and culture.

De Águila himself a living witness to the immigrant struggle, having traveled from his native Uraguay to the United States (where he received his American citizenship) as a young man, then to Europe for a period of years and back again to America in 1992, has created a score as sweeping as the oceans, actual and allegorical, that separate whole continents and peoples.

Daniel Kepl VOICE Magazine Santa Barbara

Pacific Serenade

Raleigh Symphony orchestra Free Spirits Ensemble Miguel del Aguila american music composer Pacific Serenade clarinet and piano Bosendorfer Hall


The Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble performs Presto II

WIND QUINTET at Musikverein

JSBM Trio performs Wind Quintet No.2  at Musikverein Wien Gläserner Saal

DISAGREE! Performance

Acuarimantima trio DISAGREE at Teatro Javeriano, Colombia

MANNES Performance

Windsync at The New School Mannes School of Music New York City performance of Wind Quintet No.2

american composers latin latinx hispanic contemporary classical music

Miguel del Aguila on YouTube

For inquiries: m@migueldelaguila.com

Three-time Grammy nominated American composer Miguel del Aguila was born in Uruguay in 1957. In over 130 works that combine drama, driving rhythms and 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 annually, has been hailed as “brilliant and witty” (New York Times), “sonically dazzling” (Los Angeles Times) and “expressive and dramatic” (American Record Guide). Recorded on more than 55 CDs, his music has been performed by over 100 orchestras throughout the Americas and Europe, including the Chicago Symphony and Chicago Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; the Kiev, Odessa, Heidelberg, Royal Liverpool, Buffalo, Louisiana and Ciudad de México Philharmonics; and the Welsh BBC, Toronto, Nashville, Seattle, Albany, San Antonio, Long Beach, Fort Worth, Santa Barbara, Caracas and São Paulo Symphonies, and the Orchestra of the Americas.
Conductors who have performed del Aguila’s 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, Dirk Meyer, and José Arean.
Notable among over a thousand chamber ensembles performing his works are the Sphinx Virtuosi, Windscape, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, SOLI, New Juilliard Ensemble, Eroica Trio, Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble, Collegium Novum Zürich, Imani Winds, Fifth House, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the Pacifica and Verona string quartets.
Festivals performing his music include Aspen, Cabrillo, Chautauqua, Ravinia, Oregon Bach Festival, Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, Bregenz Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, Budapest Spring, Cervantino, and Prague Spring. In addition to his three Latin Grammy nominations, del Aguila has received a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, a Magnum Opus/Kathryn Gould Award, grants from The Composer New Music USA/Music Alive and the Copland Foundation, and the Lancaster Symphony Composer of the Year award. He has held extensive composer residencies with the Orchestra of the Americas (2020); the Danish Chamber Players/Ensemble Sorstrøm (2021); the Chautauqua Institution Music Festival (2001-2004); and a two-year residency with the New Mexico Symphony provided by a Meet the Composer/Music Alive Award, resulting in the fully staged premiere of his opera Time and Again Barelas (2007). Del Aguila serves as a member of the Barlow Endowment’s Board of Advisors. After graduating from San Francisco Conservatory, del Aguila studied at Vienna’s Universität für Musik. Early premieres in the Musikverein and Konzerthaus were followed by performances in the U.S. in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and The Brooklyn Philharmonic conducted by Lukas Foss. Soon after he settled in Southern California in 1992, the Los Angeles Times praised him as “one of the West Coast’s most promising young composers.” After many years in California, where he taught composition and for three years served as music director of the Ojai Camerata, del Aguila moved to Seattle. - www.migueldelaguila.com

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