Juan Orrego-Salas Scholarship Fund

Orrego Salas

Composer and Professor Emeritus of Music Juan Orrego-Salas was born in Santiago, Chile, January 18, 1919. In 1938 he founded the Catholic University Choir, concertizing extensively throughout Chile with this ensemble until 1944. During this time, he completed his undergraduate work in composition and taught the history of music at the National Conservatory in Santiago. Taking advantage of two successive fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, Professor Orrego-Salas traveled to the United States to study composition with Randall Thompson and Aaron Copland and musicology with Paul Henry Lang and George Herzog.

Upon his return to Chile in 1947, he was appointed Full Professor of Composition at the University of Chile. After conducting the premiere of his Canciones Castellanas in Palermo and Taormina, Italy, he resumed teaching and became editor of the Revista Musical Chilena in 1949 and music critic for El Mercurio in 1950. In 1953, he obtained his degree of Profesor Extraordinario (Ph.D.) in composition from the State University of Chile and, receiving a second Guggenheim Fellowship, he spent the following year in the United States.

In 1955 Professor Orrego-Salas became the Director of the Instituto de Extension Musical, coordinating the operation of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Ballet, and a number of choral and chamber ensembles. In 1959 he became the founder and first director of the Institute of Music at the Catholic University in Santiago. In 1961 he came to Bloomington to establish the Latin American Music Center and serve as professor of composition at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

In 1971 the Catholic University of Chile confered him the Doctorate "Honoris Causa". In 1988 the OAS in Washington D.C. granted him the "Gabriela Mistral Cultural Prize", and in 1992, he received from the Chilean Government, the highest distinction bestowed upon its artists, the "Premio Nacional de Arte".

The Juan Orrego-Salas Scholarship Fund was established in 1994 in recognition of Professor Orrego-Salas's 28-year career at IU. It is awarded annually to composition students at IU Jacobs School of Music.