Argentine maestro dies, 58

Argentine maestro dies, 58


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2019

The conductor and composer Erik Oña has died suddenly in Switzerland, where he headed the Electroacoustic Music Laboratory of the Basle music academy.

Born in Cordoba, he taught in Buffalo and Tokyo in the 1990s. In the 2000s, he taught composition at the University of Birmingham while producing a stream of challenging modern works.

He married the Argentine pianist Helena Bugallo; they had two children.


  • John Borstlap says:

    A sad story, RIP.

    Bu: I vainly try to discover what could possibly be challenging in this piece.

    Such works are only understandable when the listener informs his/herself about the long history of concept art and concept music, and forgets his/her reception framework in relation to music. And then there still remains the question what makes all that effort worthwhile.

    I’m amazed that even the Swiss create space for such ephemeral art forms, thinking of their reputation of a rather no-nonsense culture preserving an independent mindset.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      It is a sad story. My mother died at the same age and we tend to think of 58 as still young. The average life expectancy is 80 years for males now and slightly more for females but, of course, in determining the average you have to take figures from both sides of that 80 years! This was was obviously still young and vigorous.

      Your comments about ephemeral art are apposite. But it’s sadly a feature of our post-truth, shallow times. Even the ‘thumbs down’ here on your comments here (and elsewhere) show that the demand for consensus remains mind-numbingly resilient and oppressive.

    • Why does your comment here remind me of what Trump said after learning of Cokie Roberts’ passing away?

  • Jan Schultsz says:

    Erik was a great composer, a great conductor and teacher, but first of all a fantastic colleague. We miss you, Erik!