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IU Latin American Music Center receives Alfonso Montecino legacy collection

March 22, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Chilean pianist, composer and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Professor Emeritus Alfonso Montecino has donated his legacy collection to the school's Latin American Music Center.

Alfonso Montecino

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The announcement was made March 21 during the Salón Latino, the second concert in the center's chamber music series.

"With the mission of fostering the development of all Latin American music, the center offers music students and scholars performance and research materials from throughout Latin America," said Erick Carballo, interim director of the center. "A very special component of these unique materials is the legacy collections that composers and their families donate to us. It is with honor and a great sense of responsibility that we accept the donation of the Montecino legacy collection."

The collection includes scores and sketches of all of Montecino's compositions, letters, newspaper clippings and concert programs associated with his outstanding international career, as well as piano scores with his own performance markings, photographs and other personal items.

"We are honored to steward the materials of Alfonso Montecino," said Philip Ponella, director of the William and Gayle Cook Music Library. "Not only because of his high profile as a performer and a promoter of Latin American music, but also because of his association of many years with the Jacobs School of Music and with Indiana University."

Past donations have included the collections of Colombian conductor Guillermo Espinosa and composers Roque Cordero (Panamá), César Franchisena (Argentina), Horacio López de la Rosa (Argentina), Carlos Quintana (Guatemala) and Carlos Teppa (Venezuela), and the legacy collection of the founder of the Latin American Music Center, Chilean composer and scholar Juan Orrego-Salas.

Montecino was born in the small town of Osorno, Chile, in 1924. He eventually moved to the capital city of Santiago, where he studied piano with Alberto Spikin, and composition with Domingo Santa Cruz.

In 1947, he moved to the United States, where he studied piano with fellow Chilean Claudio Arrau. He also studied composition with Randall Thompson at Princeton University, with Edgar Varčse and Roger Sessions at Columbia University and the Julliard School of Music and with Bohuslav Martinu at Mannes College in New York.

Montecino developed an international concert career for his performances of the great works for keyboard, such as J. S. Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" and Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. He also promoted the music of Latin American composers, contributing to the repertory as a composer himself.

He joined the piano faculty at the Jacobs School of Music in 1963, serving until 1988, when he retired as professor emeritus.