Cook Music Library Digital Exhibitions

Latin American Music Center . . . the beginning

Photo: Orrego-Salas with map

Orrego-Salas stands in front of a map of South America.

Juan Orrego-Salas was instrumental in the establishment of the Latin American Music Center, serving as the founding director from its inception until his retirement in 1987. Founded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1961, when the foundation provided the initial $10,000 grant, the Latin American Music Center actively promotes the research and performance of Latin American music. In partnership with the William and Gayle Cook Music Library and the Archives of Traditional Music, the LAMC curates collections of traditional, art, and popular music.

Among Orrego-Salas many contributions to the Center during his tenure as director, he produced two editions of the catalog Latin American Music Available at Indiana University (1964, 1971), which aided in making Latin American materials available to scholars and musicians. He also introduced graduate courses on the music history of Latin America and an ensemble focused on Latin American music at Indiana University, laying foundations for coursework that continues today. During his tenure, the LAMC sponsored conferences, guest artists, lectures, and concerts in support of its mission of fostering the academic study, performance and research of Latin American music.

In addition to collections of books, scores, recordings, and ephemera associated with Latin American music, the LAMC has sponsored many music events like the chamber concert series "Salón Latino," the Alberto Ginastera Music Festival, the Latin American Music Recording Competition, the Crossroads of Traditions Concerts, and the Indiana International Guitar Festival and Competition. Since the retirement of Juan Orrego-Salas, the LAMC has been directed by Venezuelan composer Ricardo Lorenz, Venezuelan-American conductor Carmen Téllez, Erick Carballo, Paul Borg, and the current director, Javier F. León.  

Over fifty years after its founding, the Latin American Music Center continues to promote the academic study, performance, and research of Latin American music.

Juan Orrego Salas: A Latin American Composer in the USA

Interview (2011): "Juan Orrego Salas: A Latin American Composer in the USA"

Concert program: LAMC 5th Spring Festival of Latin American Music, 1967

One of the activities Juan Orrego-Salas established at the Latin American Music Center was the Spring Festival of Latin American Music. The Fifth Spring Festival (1967), which included Orrego-Salas's Concerto de Camera, op. 34 (1952), can be listened to on Indiana University's Media Collections Online.

Interview (2011):

"Juan Orrego Salas: A Latin American Composer in the USA"

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Indiana University's Latin American Music Center (LAMC), composer, scholar, and LAMC founder Juan Orrego-Salas, talks about his musical upbringing and the foundation of the LAMC in 1961.

Latin American Music Center . . . the beginning