Louis Franz Aguirre (b. 1968) is a Cuban composer resident in Denmark. He was educated as a composer, violinist and conductor at the University of Arts in Havana, Cuba, under the guidance of Harold Gramatges and Roberto Valera. At the age of 27, he became the artistic director and chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in his native Camagüey, and guest conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Santiago de Cuba Symphony Orchestra. He also was a professor at the Camagüey’s Music Conservatory and artistic director and chairman of Camagüey’s International Festival of Contemporary Music (1996-2002). He is considered one of the foremost Latin American composers of his generation. His music has been labelled “Music from hell” and “Not for the faint of heart”.
In the early 2000s, Aguirre moved to Amsterdam, where he studied composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under Professor Rafael Reina and Jos Swaanenburg, focusing on "Contemporary music through non-Western Techniques". Since 2004 he has been living in Denmark, where he completed the soloist class in composition at the Århus Music Conservatory in 2007 under Karl Aage Rasmussen and Hans Abrahamsen.
Working as a full-time composer since 2002, Aguirre’s oeuvre of more than 170 works includes operas, orchestral and chamber music, solo works, vocal music, choral, electronic and didactic music. A number of his works are inspired by the Cuban Santeria religion and its religious texts. Recently, he has become a much-played composer: his works have been performed at numerous music festivals and acclaimed by soloists and ensembles throughout the world.
Aguirre is a strong and original voice in Danish musical life, helping to make it more varied and multi-faceted. He has received numerous awards for his music. He plays an active part of the music scene in Denmark and North Jutland by working as a member of the composer's group Snow Mask and as artistic director of the Snow Mask Ensemble.
“Louis Aguirre is a strongly individual composer with an unusual spiritual background in Afro-Cuban religion. One of the foremost contemporary Cuban composers of today, widely performed and commissioned internationally, the music of Louis Aguirre strikes one with a tremendous blow. It has the power of an exorcism, brutal and impenetrable, and requires the utmost of performers and their instruments. His music is a strange marriage of modernism with the mysteries of the Afro-Cuban Santería religion. Extreme sonorities, irascible micro-tonal melodic designs, frantic sound blocks, complex micro-rhythmic relationships and a wide range of unconventional timbral effects are some of the components that articulate the exuberant language of Aguirre's work. ”- Dr. Iván César Morales Flores, Professor of Music at the University of Oviedo, Spain.