RUPERTO MARCO AURELIO 96-053
1 scrapbook, 1
The manuscript scrapbook
is fragile (3/4 leather, marbled boards worn, spine lacking) and researcher
handling may be limited.
Purchased from Savoy Books, Lanesborough, Massachusetts,
Agency History/biographical sketch:
Ruperto Marco Aurelio Chacon was a Chilean-born guitarist
and mandolinist who moved to the United States
in the late nineteenth century to capitalize on a surge of interest in the
mandolin. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Santiago and, with a group of South American students from
America"), toured New Haven one summer
[circa 1892]. At the New Haven Grand Opera House he made contact with a person
who influenced and assisted him in his initial move to the States. He lived in New York City
and later in New Haven, Connecticut.
In 1903, Chacon bought a summer residence that he renamed “Chiliway Farm” in Chilson, New York.
Chacon, a musician and musical instructor, played mandolin, violin,
guitar, and the Spanish instrument bandurria for a
variety of functions and had many students. Chacon married Bertha Marie Hollerith in 1906 and a son, Robert, was born December
1907. In 1912 Chacon bought his first commercial business, and as his
success increased, Chacon abandoned music for business endeavors. The date of
his death is unknown.
Scope and content:
This scrapbook, compiled by Ruperto Chacon is
scrapbook of 60 pages documenting the musical career and personal life of an
immigrant musician and musical teacher. It consists of correspondence, concert programs, announcements, reviews, and
other items that chronicle the rise and ultimate decline of his musical
career. The scrapbook documents his
arrival in this country around 1893, beginning his musical career, developing
contacts, opening his studio, and concerts, soirees, recitals, and charity
benefits. The first published brochure announces his studio on Fifth Avenue, New
York, “Senor Chacon, Professor of Mandolin, Guitar
and Bandurria.” The second lists “Professor of
Violin, Mandolin and Guitar.” Also included are recommendations and letters
from his society patrons, program repertoires, newspaper clippings, telegrams;
business cards and vitae; client rosters; commencement, concert, and theater
programs, souvenirs, ads, and tickets.
Personal memorabilia (resort brochures; church bulletins; wedding and
dinner invitations; personal memos; homemade holiday cards, Santa letters, and
handwritten verse; poems; passenger roster; photographs; menus) includes Chacon’s courtship and marriage,
birth of children, his summer life in upstate New York, WWI, and his increasing
business prosperity and eventual abandonment of music. Personal notes and dates
are written throughout the scrapbook in Chacon’s hand. About 20% of the
correspondence is written in Spanish.
By extension, the scrapbook documents the introduction of the mandolin to
American musical life and the decline of its first period of popularity.
is filed by accession number with other manuscripts in the Manuscript section
of the stacks.
The Center holds
other manuscript scrapbooks compiled by performers, musicians, and music
business professionals that may be searched through Special Collections finding
[Portions of above text were written by Paul F. Wells for Notes.]
January 2004, LPC