Agustín Castilla-Ávila
Photo: Chris Stockhammer ©
Agustín Castilla-Ávila


Agustín Castilla-Ávila, composer and guitarist. Born in in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, where he began his musical education at the conservatory. Then he studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Sevilla with Josefina Calero and finished his degree with a Titulo Superior de Guitarra. In 1998, he obtained a scholarship from the Fundación La Caixa and from the British Council for a Master study at the London College of Music with the guitarist Carlos Bonell. Afterwards he acquired a Postgraduate diploma and a Masters Degree from Robert Brightmore and David Miller at the Guildhall School of Music. In 2001, he finished a Postgraduate study for guitar with Isabel Siewers at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. At the same time, he studied with Frank Koonce for a Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Arizona State University; there, he also worked as a teaching assistant.
In 2004, he began studying composition with Adriana Hölszky and with Reinhard Febel at the Mozarteum. He also studied composition with Alexander Müllenbach at the Conservatoire du Luxembourg. In 2010, he was ‘Artist in Residenz’ in Vienna, Austria by the Federal Ministry in Austria.

He attended Master courses for guitar, among others, with D. Russell, M. Barrueco, and R. Dyens; as well as Master courses for composition with S. Sciarrino, T. Marco, C. Halffter, A. Posadas, J. Kaipainen, J. Tiensuu, K. Schwertsik, et al. 1994-95, he was the youngest professor for guitar at the Conservatorio Profesional de Ceuta; and 1995-98, he was teaching at the Conservatorio Elemental de Lucena in Spain. In 1998, he worked as a composer together with the theater group Boardwalk in the piece “Bluthochzeit” by García Lorca. In the same year, he participated in the English motion picture “Maestro”. He also wrote the soundtrack for the short motion picture “Du bist Perfekt” by Bibiana Juanes.

Agustín Castilla-Ávila has performed both as a soloist and with chamber music ensembles, as well as with orchestras in Europe and in the USA. He was awarded at the "Forêt d´Orléans Festival" in France and at the "Festival Internacional de Vélez-Málaga" in Spain. He participated as composer in the IV. and V. "Bolivar Hall Guitar Festival" London, "Guildhall Contemporary Music Festival", "Salzburg Strings Festival", "Mozart Ante Portas" Salzburg, Oriental-Occidental Accord 2007, "Stadtfestwoche Hallein" 2007, "stART" 2007, "Rocník Medzinárodného Festivalu Banska Bystrica", "IG Nacht der Komponisten", "New Faces New Dances" 2008 Salzburg, Microtonal Week in Austria, "Internationales Gitarren-Festival" Hallein, "Sävellyspaja-Avanti!" 2009, "Spanish Evenings" in San Petersburg, "Festspiele Europäische Wochen" Passau, "International University of Santo Tomás Guitar Festival" in Manila, etc.

His music was conducted by D. Russell-Davies, S. Fontanelli, J. Kalitzke (OENM), T. Ceccherini, A. Soriano, H. Lintu (Avanti! Chamber Orchestra), H. Schellenberger (Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla), K. Hiller, C. Chamorro, et al, and recorded by the ORF in Austria. He is publishing at Doblinger Verlag. He lectured about microtonality in the guitar at the Sankt Petersburg conservatory, Escuela Reina Sofia in Madrid, Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapur, and other important musical centers.

He composed works for various combinations: from solo to orchestra, choreographies, theater, or two chamber operas (“Adán de Eva”, which was first performed by the El Cimarrón Ensemble, and “Don Quijotes Dulcinea”, contract composition of the 58th "Festspiele Europäische Wochen" Passau 2010).

Since 2019, he is chairman of the International Ekmelic Music Society.


  • Eine künstlerische Persönlichkeit die eine große Karriere haben wirdAdriana Hölszky
  • An extraordinary talented composerReinhard Febel
  • Castilla-Ávila has to be counted to the most excellent artistic figures of our daysJohannes Kotschy, vice president of the International Ekmelic Music Society
  • Your compositions will be soon heard in all the guitaristic circlesJuan Jose Saenz, director of the Festival Internacional de Guitarra Sainz de la Maza



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