Nano Stern is the best Chilean singer-songwriter of his generation

Nano Stern is the leading voice among Chilean songwriter’s today, and is well on his way to becoming one of the great American voices of our time.

Stern combines Chile’s rich folk music legacy with Classical music training, a young man’s punk rock sensibilities, and European Jazz training. Being a product of the postmodern age which combines every thing, all the time, Stern’s style is difficult to categorize. He fits best in the Chilean “Nueva canción” tradition of socially-inspired folk music.

American folk music legend Joan Baez said, “Nano Stern is the best Chilean singer-songwriter of his generation, with his lyrics, melodies, message, humor and heart.”

“The best Chilean singer-songwriter of his generation.”

American folk legend Joan Baez

Joan Baez was one of the great American folk singers of the 1960s and 70s. By they way, she is a New Yorker with a Mexican heritage.

Nano Stern

Fernando Daniel Stern Britzmann, better known as Nano Stern was born in Santiago de Chile in 1985. He was a child prodigy who began playing the violin when he was just three years old.

As a teenager Stern became a rocker in the bands Matorral and Mecánica Popular. He studied Classical music in conservatory.

When he came of age, Stern headed to Germany where he played with Chilean expatriates Ortiga. Then he moved to The Netherlands to study Jazz at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

In The Netherlands, Stern recorded his first album, Nano Stern in 2006.

Stern has a very charismatic stage presence. In 2016 New York Times music critic Stephen Holden wrote of Stern’s performance of Gracias a la vida with Joan Baez saying, “their performance generated the kind of lightning you might have experienced at a joyful ’60s hootenanny when everything seemed possible and hope was in the air.”

“Their performance generated the kind of lightning you might have experienced at a joyful ’60s hootenanny when everything seemed possible and hope was in the air.”

Stephen Holden for The New York Times

Nano Stern Albums

2006: Nano Stern
2007: Voy y vuelvo
2009: Los espejos
2011: Nano Stern live in concert
2011: Las torres de sal
2013: La Cosecha
2014: San Diego 850 En Vivo (2 CDs + DVD)
2015: Mil 500 Vueltas

For more information about the artist, visit

Twitter: @nanostern
Instagram: nano_stern

Being Chilean Today

Stern is a young Chilean. Part of understanding him is knowing a little about the Chilean context.

Being Chilean today is to carry the legacy of world-class Chilean artists, the pain of a military dictatorship, and the possibilities of Latin America’s strongest economy today.

A Legacy of World-Class Artists

Chile produces world-renowned artists.

The poet Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973) made me fall in love with the richness of the Spanish language when I could barely speak it. Gabriela Mistral (1889 – 1957) was the first Latin American author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Isabel Allende (1942) is famous for her novels in the style of magical realism.

Violetta Parra (1917 – 1967) was a folk music pioneer. She believed that by coming together around culture, we could begin to solve the problems in our society. Parra wrote the song Gracias a la vida which Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa made famous, and which all Latin Americans know. Parra was also the first Latin American artist to exhibit at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

In theatre and music, Víctor Jara (1932 – 1973) influenced a generation of Chileans with his teaching and activism. He paid for it with his life, but it made him a giant spirit.

Claudio Bravo (1936 – 2011) is famous for his hyperrealist paintings. Roberto Matta (1911 – 2002) was a seminal figure in Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism. You regularly see both artist’s work in the New York art auctions. The Latin American art auctions are later this month.

Alfredo Jaar (1956), who is now a New Yorker, is famous for his Times Square intervention A Logo for America. It showed America as one continent including both North and South. Jaar’s recent work is being broadcast at the Frieze New York art fair this week.

Contemporary artist and UCLA art professor Rodrigo Valenzuela incorporates the Chilean legacy of protest in his art.

Chile has great artistic traditions, and a tradition of artists who care about all the people.

The Legacy of a Dictatorship

Chileans suffered tremendously under the capricious military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet from 1973 – 1990. We don’t like to mention our bad guys, but the Pinochet dictatorship colored the experience of an entire generation of Chileans, especially the millennials who were children then, and like Nano, are young adults now.

Protest takes on a special currency when you are fighting for your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Chile is Latin America’s Leading Economy

Today Chile is considered a high-income country by the World Bank. It is South America’s strongest and most stable economy, and the first South American country to join the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Being Chilean, Nano Stern carries all of this, especially the legacy of Violetta Parra and Víctor Jara. Stern shares with most Latin Americans the dream of using culture to help build a great, prosperous and equitable society.

Nano Stern in New York City

Stern plays the Elebash Recital Hall in the CUNY Graduate Center in Murray Hill, Manhattan on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 7 pm. $25

The show is part of the New Sounds of South America series produced by Isabel Soffer’s Live Sounds, the producer of globalFEST. She writes:

Joan Baez has called Nano Stern “the best young Chilean songwriter of his generation.” A powerhouse singer-songwriter and activist, Stern brilliantly layers indigenous, African, and European elements into a sound all his own. Political, articulate, passionate, and experimental, Stern mixes a punk-rock background with classical and jazz training and the deeply rooted influences of traditional Chilean revolutionary music from the nueva canción movement.​

Twitter: @livesoundsnyc

Nano Stern Tickets

$20 members
Free for CUNY students and faculty

Get Tickets

Visiting The Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
(between 34th & 35th St)
Murray Hill, Manhattan

Twitter: @GradCenterNews


  • (6) to 33rd St
  • (N) (Q) (R) (W) to 34th St – Herald Square
  • (D) (F) (M) to 34th St – Herald Square

Gracias a la Vida

Nano Stern. Courtesy of the artist / The Graduate Center.

Nano Stern. Courtesy of the artist / The Graduate Center.

“Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me laughter and it gave me tears.
With them I distinguish happiness from pain,
The two elements that make my song.
And your song, which is my song too.

And everyone’s song, which is my own song.”

From Gracias a la Vida by Violetta Parra, 1966

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