Music Director • The Gateway Festival Orchestra of St. Louis

Darwin Aquino


Music Director and Conductor

Darwin Aquino joined the Gateway Festival Orchestra as Music Director in 2019. In no time he charmed us with his wit and delighted us with his energetic performances. His programs reflect his love of the classical repertoire and the colors and rhythms of Latin America.

Darwin began his musical journey, with his father’s encouragement, as a young violin student in the Dominican Republic. As he began to master the instrument, he found pleasure in creating his own tunes. Now an accomplished composer, he brings that perspective to the conductor’s podium. where it helps him recognize and deliver the nuances of other musicians.

Darwin’s first opportunity to conduct is a story worthy of a Hollywood plot: The conductor of a youth orchestra gets called away to another job, Darwin, the young concertmaster. volunteers to carry on, and the baton is passed to the next generation. His conducting career blossomed from there. He is in demand internationally and is especially known for his love of conducting opera.

Darwin first came to St. Louis in 2017 to conduct Bizet’s Carmen with the Winter Opera of St. Louis. There he met the Italian mezzo-soprano Benedetta Orsi who was performing the title role. The two fell in love and married and now make their home in Creve Coeur with their 2-year-old son Riccardo.

To learn more about Darwin’s career, see the links below



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