Conductor | Composer

Darwin Aquino

3

Season 2023-24

Conductor

  • Conductor, New Works Collective Opera Theater of St. Louis
  • Guest Conductor, Interlochen Center for the Arts
  • Music Director, St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Guest Conductor, St. Louis Ballet
  • Conductor-in-Residence, Washington University
  • Guest Conductor, Chamber Music Society
  • Guest Conductor, World Chess Hall of Fame Music Series

Composer

  • Commissioned Composer, Lux Nova Duo – “Dialogues V” Festival, Hamburg, Germany (new work)
  • Guest Composer, San Francisco Civic Symphony (“Lunga Pandemia” for orchestra)
  • Commissioned Composer, National Flute Association Convention – San Antonio, USA (Flute Duo for Laurel Zucker & Christine Gangelhoff)
  • Commissioned Composer, Arizona State University Clarinet Studio (New Work)
  • Commissioned Composer, Opera Theater of St. Louis / Opera on the Go (“Treemonisha” S. Joplin / Abridged)
  • Guest Composer, Latin American Music Festival / Venezuela (“Aee Mamá Si Ee” for solo percussion)

About Darwin

Known for his charismatic energy and musical versatility as a conductor and composer, Darwin Aquino’s career has taken him to orchestra halls and opera theaters across Europe, United States and Latin America. His constant presence as a Dominican artist in multiples stages is seen as a bright light for diversity and inclusion in classical music…

Upcoming Schedule 2024/2025

2024
  • World Premiere “Responsabilidad: A Paraphrased Merengue” for Bass Clarinet at Arizona State University / Commissioned Composer
    April 21
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    April 24-26
  • Opera Theater of Saint Louis Festival Season / Cover Conductor
    April 28 – June 29
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts / Guest Conductor Interlochen Philharmonic Orchestra
    June 29 – July 14
  • National Symphony Orchestra of Panama / Guest Conductor
    July 16 – 26
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    July 31 – August 2
  • World Premiere “Dos Danzas” for 2 Flutes at the National Flute Convention, San Antonio, Texas / Commissioned Composer
    August 1-4
  • Opera Theater of Saint Louis New Works Collective / Conductor
    Sept. 9-11
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    Oct. 2 – 4
  • St. Louis Ballet / Music Director
    Oct. 7 – 13
  • Washington University Symphony Orchestra / Conductor-in-Residence
    Nov. 3
  • World Premiere Festival “Dialogues”, Hamburg, Germany. New Work for Lux Nova Duo / Commissioned Composer
    Nov. 4-9
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    Nov. 13-15
  • Opera Theater of Saint Louis New Works Collective / Conductor
    November 18-21
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    Dec. 4-6
2025
  • Opera Theater of Saint Louis New Works Collective / Conductor
    January 25 – Feb. 8
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    Feb. 19-21
  • Washington University Symphony Orchestra / Conductor-in-Residence
    Feb. 23
  • Washington University Symphony Orchestra / Conductor-in-Residence
    April 22
  • St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra / Artistic & Music Director
    April 22-25

Reviews

Opera Theater of Saint Louis – 2024 New Works Collective: "Conductor Darwin Aquino draws perfection from his orchestra. Magically they sound much larger."

 – Steve Callahan (Broadway World – St. Louis)

New stars are born at Opera Theatre’s New Works Collective: "Stage direction by Kimille Howard was perfection and Darwin Aquino led the orchestra in exceptional performances of three very different scores."

 – Chuck Lavazzi (KDHX)

"Darwin Aquino has earned a solid reputation for his energy and passion, and this concert highlighted his skills brilliantly. Additionally, Aquino has done yeoman’s work to highlight the contributions of Latin American composers, to the delight of the St. Louis community and beyond." Symphony Review: The Saint Louis Philharmonic delivers power and pathos on opening night

 – Gary Liam Scott (KDHX)

“Darwin Aquino, a former FGO Assistant Conductor, led a lively, fast-paced reading of Cimarosa’s elegant work. Benedetta Orsi and Aquino’s Spanish libretto works remarkably well with Cimarosa’s bubbly score. Many Spanish-speaking members of the audience found the adaptation amusing and entertaining” - D. Cimarosa “Il Matrimonio Segreto

– Laurence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review

“Conductor Darwin Aquino had the orchestra sounding great from the first measures of the overture and generally maintained a good balance between stage and pit. He has a fine feel for the nuances of the bel canto style, and knows to breathe with the singers”.

– Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz, Germany
“These extraordinary concerts had an enormous reception, which has risen the expectations to continuously program this international repertoire with the Mainz Philharmonic Orchestra”

– Mainzer Kultur

Gallery

Media

Joining the UIA Talent Agency for worldwide representation

Joining the UIA Talent Agency for worldwide representation

UIA Talent Agency is an entertainment enterprise with a reputation of excellence in representing a diverse roster of artists. […] UIA is the home to a broad spectrum of talent including classical singers for opera and concert, actors for stage and screen, directors, composers, librettists, playwrights, and conductors…

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Opera is for All

Opera is for All

Inaugurated as part of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2023 season, the New Works Collective is the company’s groundbreaking effort to bring new voices into the world of opera, as well as to connect new audience members with the art form by exploring characters and stories that embody the full spectrum of modern life. A completely fresh approach to commissioning new operas, this first-of-its-kind program upends the form’s traditional model in favor of empowering composers and librettists who may feel that they do not have a place in opera and giving members of the community the chance to see themselves in the stories being performed. It’s an approach that New Works Collective conductor Darwin Aquino feels is vital for keeping opera resonant in today’s society.

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Sound Moves: Where Music Meets Chess

Sound Moves: Where Music Meets Chess

Celebrate the closing of the WCHOF's exhibition, Sound Moves: Where Music Meets Chess, with a unique performance using a custom-made chessboard piano at Saint Louis University's Sinquefield State Room on January 18, 2024, accompanied by musicians from the St. Louis...

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Catch Darwin on Classic 107.3 FM

Kathy Lawton Brown of Classic 107.3 interviewed Music Director Darwin Aquino and Guest Conductor Leon Burke III. Part 2 of the interview has Maestro Aquino describing the program to be performed Sunday, July 16 at 7:30pm at the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity in University City. All concerts are free to attend!

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