Mapuche composer wins highest music award in Chile

The 2022 highest honors in Chile for Literature, Natural Science, Music and History have been awarded. Hernán Rivera won the National Award for Literature, Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo won the music award. Rafael Sagredo won the award for History, and Sergio Lavandero and Ricardo Araya receive recognition in Science.

The Chilean government is handing out its National Awards for 2022. On Sept. 8, it was announced that 72 years-old author Hernán Rivera Letelier is the winner of the Literature National Award for his decades of writing, including novels such as “La Reina Isabel cantaba rancheras” and “La contadora de películas.” As Cooperativa noted, the prize also comes with a monetary award of CLP$6.5 million and a life-time pension of 20 UTM. 

The announcement was made by the Cultures, Arts, and Heritage Minister Julieta Brodsky via social media, as she described Rivera Letelier as an “author of novels with endearing characters” who capture the core expression of the northern pampa, its rituals and its saltpeter tradition. “Thanks for making your letters worthy ambassadors of our country!”, she added. 

Four days later, she announced the Mapuche music composer Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo was given the National Music Award. “I am deeply moved to present the National Music Award for the first time to a representative of the native peoples of our country,” said Minister Brodsky. “Through this award we move forward as a country in settling a historical debt with our roots, their traditions, music and language. I hope that this recognition can inspire children and young people of the Mapuche people,” added the minister.

Two weeks before the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage announced the National Award of Literature, the Ministry of Education, on Aug. 26, issued its recognitions in the areas of Applied Sciences & Technology and History. 

The National Applied Science & Technology Award went to the psychiatrist Ricardo Araya. Education Minister Marco Antonio Ávila said they chose Araya because of the importance of the mental health field, “especially after the pandemic, which has affected children, adolescents, and adults alike.”

As for the History National Award, it went to Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC Chile) historian Rafael Sagredo. As CNN Chile reports, Ávila said the jury chose the professor for the contribution he has made in the field of history by revealing the importance of science in the cultural and social configuration of Chile.

On Aug. 29, Sergio Lavandero González was announced as the winner of the Natural Science award. He is a pharmaceutical chemist and has a doctorate degree in biochemistry. El Mostrador reports that Lavandero González was recognized for his input on discovering new molecular mechanisms in the development of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Rosa Devés, rector of the University of Chile, and Ignacio Sánchez, headmaster of UC Chile were among the jury that selected Lavandero González.

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