Darwin Aquino is a recognized Dominican conductor and composer seen internationally as one of the top rising Latin American artists, in both opera and symphonic fields. His inspired conducting and versatility as a composer are highly claimed in Europe, United States and Latin America.
Aquino is enjoying a vibrant career after winning the prestigious “Premio Soberano” award as Successful Dominican Artist Abroad. He has been recently invited to conduct the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz in Germany, National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Winter Opera St. Louis (“Il Trovatore”, “Carmen”), FIU Opera Theater (“L’Etoile”), Filarmónica Boca del Rio in Mexico, Alfredo de Saint Malo Festival Orchestra in Panama, Florida Lakes Symphony, Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra, among others. Since 2014, Aquino has been constantly invited by internationally acclaimed Maestro Ramon Tebar to be his cover conductor for the Florida Grand Opera and Opera Naples (“Barber of Seville”, “Don Pasquale”, “Norma”, “Carmen”, “Un Ballo in Maschera”, “La Boheme”). He has worked with soloists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Robert Davidovici, Maria Kanyova, Kemal Gekic, Jorge Pita Carreras, Shari Mason, and Roland Baldini, being the first conductor in his country to premiere Anton Bruckner’s symphonies.
In 2015 he was selected among many international composers for the premiere of his orchestral piece “Espacio Ritual” by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, during the Festival “Presences” at La Maison de la Radio in Paris. The Latin American Collegium of Composers and the Caribbean Composers Forum joined Aquino as their youngest member for his outstanding achievements in composition. Recently, was invited to La Habana, Cuba, as one of the judges for the Composition Prize Casa de las Americas.
Some of his international composition prizes include: “Musici Mojanesi” in Italy, three “Premios Nacionales de Musica” and two “Premios de Composicion Academica” in the Dominican Republic, “Hildegard Behrens Young Artist” and “Arts Advocacy Award” in the United States. In 2008, the Dominican Ministry of Culture appointed Aquino as the first composer in residence of the National Symphony Orchestra. The complete recordings of his works are found on three albums: “Espacio Ritual” (CD 2008), “Congofonia” (CD 2012) and “Musica Sacra” (DVD 2011).
Aquino’s compositions have premiered in the last couple of years by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Mainz Philharmonic in Germany, the Santo Domingo Music Festival Orchestra, the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmónica Boca del Rio in Mexico, the National Symphony Orchestra in Salvador and the Música Sacra Philharmonic. His chamber music is frequently performed at international festivals such as, the Festival Presences in Paris, the New Music ISCM in Miami, Latin American Music Festival in Venezuela, SMASH Salamanca in Spain, the Las Americas in Concert at the Mannes College of Music in New York, the International Forum of New Music in Mexico and North South Consonance in New York.
Deeply interested in music education and social transformation through classical music, Maestro Aquino has served as Music Director of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Dominican Republic’s “Sistema”, since 2004. Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of the world-known Venezuelan Sistema, refers to Aquino as “a great conductor, excellent composer and eminent violinist. A pioneer for classical music”. The Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA) chose him as founder violinist, guest conductor and composer, for many concert tours throughout the Americas and for special performances at Carnegie Hall.
For his outstanding work with the Latin American musical youth was elected as Dominican international representative for the Orquesta Juvenil Centroamericana (OJCA), Iberorquestas and Jeneusses Musicales International (JMI). In 2011, The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University invited Aquino as a distinguished conductor and speaker for the conference “Youth Orchestra of the Americas: case study of social entrepreneurship”.
MIA Artists Management represents Darwin Aquino in the United States. He studied composition at the Conservatoire National du Strasbourg in France with Italian Maestro Ivan Fedele. Later he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Florida International University (FIU) Symphony Orchestra in the United States, under the baton of Maestro Grzegorz Nowak, where he graduated with a Master in Orchestral Conducting and was distinguished by unanimous vote of the faculty with the “Graduate Performer Award”.