Agustín Fernández

(b. 10 March 1958, Cochabamba).

Bolivian composer, now resident in the UK, of mostly stage, orchestral, chamber, and choral works that have been performed in the Americas and Europe.

Mr. Fernández studied at the Instituto Eduardo Laredo in Cochabamba from 1967–73 and studied composition with Alberto Villalpando at the Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo in La Paz. He had postgraduate studies in composition at the University of Liverpool in 1984–85, where he earned his MMus, then studied composition at City University London from 1985–90 and earned his PhD there. He also studied composition privately with Akira Ifukube and Takashi Iida in Japan, as well as conducting privately with Daniel Asia in the UK and violin privately with Takeshi Kobayashi in Japan.

Among his honours are Primer Premio in an interprovincial competition for charango (10-string lute from Bolivia) in Cochabamba (1971), Primer Premio in the competition for the Sesquicentenario de la República in La Paz (1975), the Training Award from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (1980–81), and an award from the Rotary Club in Tōkyō (1981–82, which enabled studies in Japan). He later received the FCO Award from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1984–89, which enabled postgraduate studies in the UK) and the Hamlyn Bursary from the Dartington International Summer School (1991).

He taught at the Conservatorio Plurinacional de Música in La Paz from 1977–80. He taught as composer-in-residence at Queen's University Belfast from 1990–94 and lectured at the Dartington College of Arts in Devon in 1994–95. He has taught at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1995, where he was a lecturer from 1995–2000 and a senior lecturer from 2000–07 and where he has been chair in composition since 2007.

He has lived in the UK since 1984.


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Crossroads Talk (music-theatre work; percussionist also speaks), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), alto saxophone (+ baritone saxophone), violin (+ viola), piano (+ synthesizer), percussion, 1984

Teoponte (music-theatre work, text by the composer), 6 mixed voices, fixed media, 1988

Botanic Journey (music-theatre work, text by Robyn Archer), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1991

A Queen Has her Portrait Painted (music-theatre work, text by Edward Kemp), 2 sopranos, piano, 1991

The Wheel (music-theatre work, text by Felicity Hayes-McCoy), 4 mixed voices, guitar (+ mandolin), viola, double bass, piano, accordion, percussion, 1992–93, revised 2003

Books and Night (music-theatre work, texts by the composer, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, John Keats), 4 sopranos, baritone, female chorus, 2 trumpets, trombone, timpani, 1995


Danza de la loma, 1986

Fuego, 1987

Peregrine, small orchestra (14 players), 1996

La Yapa, string orchestra, 1999

A Hidden Music, piano, string orchestra, 2003

Mystical Dances, 2006


Meditación, flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, piano, harpsichord, 3 percussion, 1985

Wounded Angel, charango, fixed media, 1989

Botanic Spider, piano, string quartet, 1991

Nana del Insomne, guitar, 1992

The Falcon's Kiss, soprano saxophone, piano, 1994

Munirando I, clarinet, piano, 1994

Munirando II, violin, piano, 1998

Trío, violin, cello, piano, 2003

A to Z, flutes (1 player), charango, 2000–06

¡Oh Guitarra!, guitar, 2006

Fantasia on a Theme by Kathryn Tickell, Northumbrian smallpipes, ensemble (flute [+ piccolo], oboe [+ English horn], bass clarinet, 2 French horns, double bass), 2007

String Quartet No. 1, 'Montes', 2007

Souvenir de Teoponte, double bass, piano, 2011


Tres Canciones sobre poemas de Rachel (text by Rachel [Spanish translation]), mixed chorus, 1976

Cantata de Navidad y Epifanía (text by the composer), baritone, speaker, children's chorus, 2 pianos, 1978

Himno del Instituto Laredo (text by the composer), children's chorus, mixed chorus, orchestra ad libitum, 1978

Misa de Corpus Christi, baritone, children's chorus, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1978, reconstructed 2010

El Afilador, children's chorus/mixed chorus, 1981

Approaching Melmoth, baritone, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2000

Collier's Rant (text from the folksong The Collier's Rant), children's chorus, boys' chorus, 2 mixed choruses, 2013


El Anillo (text by Federico García Lorca), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1976

Pájaro negro (text by the composer), soprano, flute, 2 clarinets (1st + bass clarinet), violin, viola, cello, piano, 1986

The Song of the Morrow (text by Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by the composer), soprano, tenor, piano, 1992

Red Songs (texts by Catherine Lenaghan, Rowena Pollard), soprano, piano, 1996

Alquimia (text by the composer), soprano, piano, 2006


Cinco Piezas de plata, 1985

Portrait, 2 pianos, 1990

Distant Episodes, 2 pianos, 2009


Silent Towers, fixed media, 1990