Chile’s national library welcomes major music collection

Alicia and Álvaro Correa Álvarez gift the Chilean public an amazing array of poems and music along with a memorial performance.

Last month, the National Library of Chile in Santiago received something very special: an extensive collection of poetry and music as well as a magical performance from the folkloric brother and sister duo Alicia and Álvaro Correa Álvarez.

The composers, who creative beloved pieces inspired by Chilean rural culture,  donated original manuscripts, recordings, photographs, and published works to the national library’s music archive. At ages 88 and 75, the pair have accumulated a spectacular array of memories and historical items that are now available to all Chileans and visitors.

Born into a rural family in Colchagua, Álvaro is a poet, singer as well as a traditional “campesino” composer. Last year he published “Como sueña mi canto (My song is like a dream,)” an anthology of his music over the decades of work. His sister, Alicia, is also a traditional composer.

The pair have created important pieces over the years for various popular groups like the Camino Viejo and the Huasos Quincheros. For many they represent the core of the campesino culture, the heart of rural Chile. Through their poetry, songs, cuecas and other traditional styles, they manage to capture the essence of the modern day central Chilean way of life as well as the memory and history of the region.

To celebrate the new addition to the national library, Alicia and Álvaro attended a ceremony in which local musicians interpreted the pair’s classic numbers for friends, family, and fans on March 31.

The Biblioteca Nacional is free and open to the public throughout the week with events and exposiciones throughout the week and weekends. Check the library’s website for specific hours for the music archive and other special programs.