Erik Oña Collection

Erik Guillermo Oña
Argentinian-Swiss composer and conductor

born November 20, 1961, in Córdoba, Argentina
died September 14, 2019, in Basel, Switzerland


In 2022, the Paul Sacher Foundation received as a gift from Erik Oña's widow, Helena Bugallo, an extensive collection of documents related to Oña's compositional work. The collection includes all of the surviving manuscripts of the composer's own works, beginning with the first pieces still premiered in Argentina, such as Viviendas propias (1985), Avatar (1988), Aspectos (1988) and Aspectos II (1991). On the basis of the sketch documents, major individual works such as Tiger und Patriarch (1994), Euler Sonaten (2001) or Das Gold des Rheins (2012) can be studied in detail, likewise as the structural connections within the three-part group of works consisting of Jodeln (1996–99), Andere Stimmen (2003) and Lokaler Widerstand (2006). Furthermore, the collection contains manuscripts of Oña's arrangements (including pieces by Mahler, Mozart and especially Conlon Nancarrow) as well as a stock of recordings and concert programmes.

Erik Oña at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, 2017 (photo Maximo Parpagnoli)
Erik Oña at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, 2017 (photo Maximo Parpagnoli)

In addition to his own composing, Erik Oña's musical activities also included conducting and teaching composition. Right after completing his studies in composition and conducting at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (1982–88), he began teaching composition and orchestration at the same place (1988–93). The situation was similar at his next destination, the State University of New York at Buffalo, where a teaching position again followed his studies in composition (1993–99 with a PhD).

Erik Oña, Andere Stimmen (2003), sketch
Erik Oña, Andere Stimmen (2003), sketch

Further visiting professorships took Oña to the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo (composition and computer music, 1995/97/99) and to the University of Birmingham in England (composition, 2001–03). In 2003, he was appointed professor of composition and head of the Electronic Studio at the Basel Academy of Music, where he remained until his premature death.

In parallel, Oña conducted various ensembles and orchestras in Europe, and North and South America, not only at his places of study and teaching. In so doing, he premiered more than 150 works, many of which with the Cologne Thürmchen Ensemble, to which he belonged as a permanent conductor as of 1996.

Scope of holdings

  • Music manuscripts: sketches, drafts, fair copies of works and arrangements
  • Photos: small amount
  • Movies / videos: small amount
  • Sound recordings
  • Programs




  • 2022 Collection enters the PSS holdings


  • Internal lists can be consulted at the PSS

Internal links


External links

curator in charge / archivist in charge

Matthias Kassel / Heidrun Ziems


18 December 2023