Isidora Zegers y Montenegro was born on January 1st, 1803, in Madrid. Daughter of Juan Francisco Zegers and Florencia Montenegro, she received an education in the arts from a young age, with both Hispanic and French influences. This is how she became a noteworthy artist during her adolescence; although her education had not been professional, she was skilled at singing, guitar, harp, piano and musical composition.
She arrived to our country at the age of 20, when her father was hired by the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
Three years later, she married colonel Guillermo Vic Tupper, who died in 1830 in Lircay. She remarried Jorge Hunneus Lippman in 1835; in total, she had 16 children from both marriages.
Isidora Zegers’s house became a place for cultural exchange over the years. Those who attended were not only delighted with her music and interpretation, but they also enjoyed the presence and debate caused by diverse characters, like foreigners Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Mauricio Rugendas and Andres Bello.
Immersed in her work as a cultural agent and promoter, she also participated in founding the Philharmonic Society of Santiago, in 1827, and in the publishing of the country’s first music magazine, El semanario musical (The weekly musical). However, her most important work would earn her a reputation in 1852, year in which she opened the first National Music Conservatory, in which she was named honorary president of the Academia Nacional del Conservatorio de Música (National Academy of the Conservatory of Music) by the president at the time, Manuel Bulnes.
After her fruitful work, stricken with a disease, she had to change her residence to the city of Copiapo in 1862. She passed away on July 14th, 1869, leaving behind an important legacy in national music.