Windows on the World: René Silva – Chile

René Silva was born in Santiago de Chile in 1984 and got a degree in Music Composition at the University of Chile in 2011 under the guidance of Rafael Díaz. Between 2012 and 2015 he courses a Master in Composition at the same university under the tutelage of Jorge Pepi. During 2013 he took private lessons in Lima, Perú, with Celso Garrido-Lecca, the Peruvian composer widely aclaimed as one of the foremost Latin American composers.

Part of his catalog is published by Absolute Brass and Cayambis Music Press (USA), and it includes pieces for solo instruments, chamber and vocal music and orchestral Works.


“Y todavía tiene una pena…” (And it still has a pain…) is a piece composed in 2012. It belongs to a cycle of five different works that reflect the relationship between music and the composer’s political ideas.

This particular composition alludes to a song by Violeta Parra, “Arauco tiene una pena” (Arauco has a pain). The composer explains that in 2012 he started to hear that song everywhere. The tune began to appear in his thoughts all the time. Around the same period, the issue of the Mapuche people in southern Chile was hot. Silva noticed that the Parra song, inspired by that same issue, was still releant today.

The music uses some rhythms of the Mapuche music. Its form is based on an accumulation of energies, effects and accelerandos, that lead to a climax. There’s also room for sonorities close to the non-tempered wind instruments of the Mapuche people. All within a symphonic context and in a proper contemporary musical language.

The piece won a composition contest of the Concepción Symphony Orchestra, and the same ensemble premiered it in October 2014, under conductor Doron Salomon.