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Juan Orrego Salas
1919 - 2019
Chile | United States of America
J.A. Orrego Salas
Juan Antonio [Juan] Orrego Salas (18/01/1919 - 24/11/2019) is a Chilean-American composer of contemporary classical music and musicologist. Orrego Salas was born in Santiago, Chile. He began his studies in composition in his native country with Pedro Humberto Allende and Domingo Santa Cruz. His music came to the attention of American composer Aaron Copland with whom he subsequently studied at Tanglewood in 1946 along with a group of Latin American composers that also included Roque Cordero, Alberto Ginastera, Julián Orbón and Héctor Tosar. While in the United States (1944–46), he additionally studied composition with Randall Thompson and musicology with Paul Henry Lang on a Guggenheim Fellowship. A second Guggenheim brought him back to the United States in the early 1950s. Throughout that decade, works of his were performed by the Juilliard Quartet, the Louisville Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. In 1961, he permanently relocated to the United States to work at Indiana University, where he co-founded the Latin American Music Center. He has been one of the foremost Chilean composers and one of the most widely known of the musicians from that country around the world. Highlights from his catalogue include six symphonies, four string quartets, two piano concertos, a violin concerto, the cantata América, no en vano invocamos tu nombre (on texts by Pablo Neruda), the vocal works El Alba del Alhelí and Canciones Castellanas (which was performed during the ISCM World Music Days in 1949), and the piece Un Canto para Bolívar composed for Quilapayún, the most important ensemble of Nueva Canción Chilena.
Composed in:1945
Musical form:song
Text/libretto:Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830 - 1894)
"Song" (A Requiem - When I am dead, my dearest), 1945, first performed 1948, for alto and piano.
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Christina Rossetti
(from Goblin Market and other Poems, published 1862)
Chr. Rossetti