The Guzmán’s of Mendoza - acclaimed classical musicians


  • William M. Guzman



During the 19th century in Chile and for three generations, the Guzmán’s were acclaimed classical musicians. The literature indicates that their patriarch Fernando Guzmán and his son Francisco arrived in Chile from Mendoza, Argentina in about 1822. There is little or no information regarding their heritage, origins and the correct composition of their large family. There are many errors and assumptions in the literature as to the number and paternity of several of them; it is intended to correct the misinformation and provide documentary evidence of the family origins, heritage and composition. The research makes use of the Mendoza Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths Parish Books from the 18th and 19th centuries, legal documents, and published material. It is confirmed that Fernando Guzmán was born into slavery, one of five children of Maria Juana, an African slave owned by the Santo Domingo Convent of Mendoza. Fernando married Juana Agustina, also a slave of African descent, owned by the Molina Sotomayor family. Fernando and Juana Agustina had 13 children, several of whom were also born into slavery. The Guzmán’s were a family of classical musicians par excellence. To celebrate their life and work, this research identifies and reports how the family was composed and how it evolved.


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