Héctor Agüero is the Artistic Director of the Laredo Philharmonic and serves as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Hailed as “a strong leader with a style everyone can follow” and a conductor who can “balance music’s delights with its demands,” Agüero has earned a reputation as a dedicated music educator and a highly sought-after guest conductor.
A versatile musician with wide-ranging experience, Agüero's previous positions include Director of Orchestras and Bands at Willamette University, Artistic Director of the Willamette Valley Symphony, Music Director of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, Staff Conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, and Director of Orchestras at Houston's prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
In addition to his conducting work, Agüero made his operatic debut in 2006 at the Moores Opera Center in the Houston premiere of Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia. Since then, he has continued his love of opera, leading productions of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca, Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor, and more. He has also collaborated with many choral organizations, including the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and performed in concert with Grammy Award-winning artists B. J. Thomas and CeCe Winans. Agüero has received recognition from the American Prize in Conducting and won the 2018 International Conducting Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2017, Agüero made his international conducting debut as a guest conductor for the Orquesta Universitaria de Música Popular in Veracruz, Mexico. While in Mexico, he led a masterclass for young conductors and served as a guest lecturer for the Universidad Veracruzana. In 2022, he returned to Xalapa as the guest conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil del Estado de Veracruz at the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruz. His work with youth orchestras includes engagements with the Salem Youth Symphony, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and the Elkhart County Youth Honors Orchestra in Goshen, Indiana.
A native of Laredo, Texas, Agüero earned degrees in conducting and music education from the Texas Tech University School of Music in Lubbock, where he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, and the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he received the Schissler Conducting Fellowship. His primary teachers were Franz Anton Krager and Gary Lewis, and he has participated in workshops and masterclasses with Adrian Gnam, Gustav Meier, Kenneth Keisler, John Farrer, Daniel Lewis, and Donald Thulean.
Agüero currently resides in Des Moines with his wife Laura and their two children, Eva Grace and Thomas.