Orchestra and Musical Ensembles

En la fotografía se ven personas jóvenes tocando instrumentos de viento y atrás aparecen en formación personas cantando


The Department of Extension has four ensembles related to classical and early music where every Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. they perform at the Aula Magna U. de Santiago, giving place to an extensive season of approximately 30 concerts a year open to the public with free admission.

Currently our audience fluctuates between 350 to 500 people who come to the Aula Magna to enjoy the concerts of the Classical Orchestra, the U. de Santiago Choir, Syntagma Musicum and the Madrigalist Choir. A total of 191 people, including musicians and conductors, make up the Usach Extension ensembles.

Extension Concerts: During the year, concerts are also held in western Santiago thanks to municipal agreements and government funds that allow the musical programs of the ensembles to be taken to theaters and cultural centers in other communities, increasing the number of concerts during the season. These concerts reach approximately 20 presentations that are performed outside the Aula Magna, the official headquarters of the groups.

Contact: extensión@usach.cl

Facebook: UsachExtensión

X: @extensionusach

web: www.extension.usach.cl

U. de Santiago Classical Orchestra

Haydn-Mozart type wide chamber orchestra that, since its creation in 1982, has brought the different periods of classical music to the wonderful acoustics of the Aula Magna of the University, located in the premises of the former School of Arts and Crafts, today a National Historic Monument. It conducts free performances for students, professors, and the general public, and is the only professional orchestra in Santiago with headquarters and regular performances in the western sector of the capital through its extension concerts.

Among its chief conductors are maestros such as Belfor Ruz, Genaro Burgos, Santiago Meza and David del Pino, whose work is reflected in the current level of the orchestra. It has also been conducted by renowned guest maestros, such as Venezuelan Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Brazilian Tobías Volkmann, Víctor Hugo Toro, Pablo Saelzer, Rodolfo Fischer, Paolo Bortolameolli, and Alejandra Urrutia, principal conductor of the Orquesta de Cámara de Chile.

He has four albums: “Cantata rosa de los vientos”, with the group Inti Illimani and the USACH Choir (1999); “Neruda y Bianchi en canciones” (2006), “Obras Sinfónicas” by the composer and National Art Prize, Miguel Letelier (2010), “Dos conciertos latinoamericanos”: Concierto para guitarra y orquesta de Antonio Lauro - Concierto Elegíaco de Leo Brouwer, with the outstanding soloist Carlos Pérez (2012) and “Cantata del Café” (2016) album that includes La vida maravillosa y burlesca del Café, by the Argentine composer and musician Jorge Pepi-Alós, and the Cantata del Café, by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Currently, the cast of 39 musicians is directed by the Swiss musician Nicolas Rauss, who since taking over the artistic direction in 2013, has delved into the baroque and classical repertoire, typical of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; and in the multifaceted styles of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, alternating tradition with contemporary Chilean compositions.

Syntagma Musicum

The early music ensemble Syntagma Musicum was created in 1978 and incorporated to this institution in 1980.

Since then and uninterruptedly, it has been carrying out a work of diffusion of the European and American preclassical repertoire, with special attention to the study and research of Early Music in the American Baroque repertoire.

It is currently formed by a quintet of prestigious musicians - Jaime Carter (harpsichord, organ), Ángela Espinoza (recorder, oboe), Hernán Muñoz (baroque violin), Franco Bonino (recorder, bassoon and musical direction) and Gonzalo Cuadra (tenor voice), who individually carry out academic, artistic and research activities of national and international relevance - those who have approached repertoires from the Middle Ages to contemporary musical compositions, associating with national and foreign artists, instrumentalists, singers, dancers and choreographers.

In recent years the group has performed world premieres, among which are the works “Misas Prohibidas” from Tarija, Bolivia; “La Pasión según San Marcos” by J. S. Bach and the CD “Premiere and CD La Púrpura de La Rosa 1ª ópera del nuevo mundo”.

U. de Santiago Choir

Founded in November 1956 by Maestro Mario Baeza in the old classrooms of the Universidad Técnica del Estado, the Usach Choir has achieved a musical development that currently places it among the most prestigious musical groups in the field of national choral music.

Integrated by professional singers, students, and alumni of Usach and other universities, its performances have been in several Latin American countries as well as throughout Chile, including visits to rural communities and workplaces in remote regions.

Its repertoire includes works and authors of all times, such as “Alexander Feast” by Handel; “Requiem” by Mozart; “Ninth Symphony” by Beethoven; “Requiem” by Bruckner; “Gloria” by Poulenc; “Berlin Mass” by Pärt, among many others. With a special contribution to “a cappella” music, emphasizing Chilean and Latin American music.

It has two recordings with the Usach Classical Orchestra: “La rosa de los vientos” by Horacio Salinas, with Inti Illimani and “Neruda y Bianchi en canciones”, with verses by Neruda and music by Vicente Bianchi. In its history, the following stand out: Lyncoln Center Festival in New York, First World Jamboree of Picarquin, World Summit of Presidents APEC, XI International Festival of choirs “Ecuador: Let’s Sing United”, the mega concert “Ennio Morricone in Chile”, the “Victor Jara Sinfónico” at the Municipal Theater of Santiago and “La canción: un pájaro sin plan de vuelo” tribute to Violeta Parra in her 100 years of birth.

Since 2016, the U. de Santiago Choir has been conducted by Andrés Bahamondes, succeeding Santiago Marín, who was the principal conductor of the choir for more than 10 years.

Madrigalista Choir

The choir of the University of Santiago de Chile was founded in 1980 and seeks to rescue and bring to the university community the legacy of choral music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Colonial American periods to the contemporary era.

Its programs include “Choral Music of the 20th Century”, “Singers of Latin America” and the “Cycles of Spanish and Chilean Romances”. The latter two were written especially for the ensemble by the composer Tomás Lefever.

The ensemble has participated in numerous projects such as the Oratorio “Jephte” by Carissimi, “Motetes y Madrigales” by Claudio Monteverdi and anthologies such as “Música del Siglo de Oro español”, “Antología Colonial Americana” and “De Lima a Santiago”.  His latest album “Hermoso imán mío” (2014), together with the group Les Carillons, is an anthology of Chilean colonial music, rescued from the Archive of the Cathedral of Santiago, which has received excellent reviews in the specialized media.

The ensemble is made up of twelve singers and its current director, Rodrigo Díaz Riquelme, one of the few theorists in Chile and an outstanding musician in the early music scene in Chile and in the interpretation of renaissance and baroque plucked string instruments.

The Madrigalista Choir has performed in different musical seasons such as: “Encuentros Musicales de Semana Santa” of the Pontificia U. Católica de Chile, “Ciclos de Música de Cámara” in the Montecarmelo, “Conciertos Corales del Grupo cámara Chile” in the Teatro Municipal, “Temporadas Musicales de Villarrica” and in the “Festival Internacional de Coros de Guayaquil”, Ecuador.