Miguel del Águila

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For the painter, see Miguel del Aguila (painter).

Miguel del Águila (born 15 September 1957 in Montevideo)[1] is an Uruguayan-born American composer of contemporary classical music.


After studies in his native Montevideo, Águila moved to the United States in 1978, where he graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He later studied in Vienna at the Hochschule für Musik and the Konservatorium while also working as a pianist, music teacher and occasionally conducting his works.

In 1987 Peermusic Classical published his first works, eventually incorporating most of del Águila’s works into their catalogue. American audiences embraced del Águila’s music in 1988 as he introduced his piano works at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall, and, days later, Lukas Foss premiered his “Hexen” with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. KKM-Austria and Albany Records NY took notice and offered him a recording contract in 1989 releasing five of his works in two CD’s the following year.

During the 1990s del Águila’s list of works grew, as did the number of his recordings, performances and honors, which by 1995 included the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. Performances at Lincoln Center, the Royal Opera House, and in Moscow, Vienna, Zurich, Budapest, Prague, Tokyo, Rome, and other capitals began a decade of expansion and growth. After residing in Vienna for ten years, del Águila returned to the United States in 1992, making his home in Southern California. Before long Los Angeles Times critics welcomed him as “One of the West Coast's most promising and enterprising young composers.” During this time he founded and directed the young musicians’ group Voices (which provided free instruction, concerts and premieres), and became music director of Ojai Camerata.

New York’s Chautauqua Institution Summer Festival invited him as Resident Composer, where he remained until 2004 contributing new works, performances and literary articles. In 2005, Miguel del Águila accepted a two-year Composer-in-Residence position with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, through a Meet the Composer “Music Alive” Award. This marked the start of an intensively creative period that culminated with the fully staged premiere of his opera Time and Again Barelas, commemorating Albuquerque’s tricentennial.

By 2008 first-rate orchestras, ensembles and soloists were regularly commissioning and performing his works worldwide. These included almost fifty orchestras, over two hundred chamber ensembles and soloists, and virtually every country in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Currently del Águila’s catalogue reaches over a hundred works for all genres.

Miguel del Águila was honored with the Lancaster Symphony Composer of the Year Award 2009, the Peter S. Reed Foundation Award 2008, MTC Magnum Opus/Kathryn Gould Award 2008, as well as awards by The Copland Foundation, and the Argosy Foundation for Contemporary Music.



  • A Conga-Line in Hell, Chamber Orchestra
  • Clocks, Piano and Ensemble
  • Herbsttag, Mixed Trio
  • Hexen, Bassoon and Ensemble
  • Life is a Dream, String Quartet
  • Pacific Serenade, Clarinet and Ensemble
  • Presto II, String Quartet
  • Salon Buenos Aires, Chamber Orchestra
  • Toccata, Chamber Orchestra, Piano Solo
  • Wind Quintet No. 2
  • Summer Song, Oboe and Piano


  • Conga for Orchestra
  • Back in Time
  • Caribbean Bacchanal
  • Concerto for Clarinet and 15 Instruments
  • Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
  • Piano Concerto
  • Rondo Roto, Woodwind Solo and Orchestra
  • The Fall of Cuzco
  • The Giant Guitar
  • Violin Concerto


  • Ave Maria, Treble Chorus
  • Requiem, Mixed Chorus, Vocal Soloists and Orchestra


  • Conga for piano
  • Sonata No. 2


  1. ^ Schleifer, Martha Furman. Latin American classical composers: A biographical dictionary. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1996.

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