Chilean-American composer and musicologist Juan Orrego-Salas was born on 18 January 1919 in Santiago, Chile, where he studied with Pedro Humberto Allende and Domingo Santa Cruz. With a group of Latin American composers including Alberto Ginastera, he studied with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood in 1946. On a Guggenheim Fellowship he studied musicology with Paul Henry Lang and composition with Randall Thompson. Throughout the 1950s his music was performed by the Juilliard Quartet, the Louisville Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.
He was one of Chile's foremost composers, producing two piano concertos, four string quartets, six symphonies and a violin concerto, and was one of the best-known Chilean musicians internationally. In 1992 he won Chile's first National Prize for Musical Arts.
Juan Orrego-Salas died on 24 November 2019, aged one hundred.