Biography of Ramón Barce (1928-2008)

Spanish composer, born in Madrid on March 16, 1928 and died in his hometown on December 14, 2008. One of the main representatives of the generation of the 51, whose contribution was essential to understand the Spanish music of the second half of the 20th century.

He began his studies of secondary education in the Institute Cardinal Cisneros of Madrid in 1939. The following year, he/she moved to Guadalajara where he/she began to study music. Eight years later he/she returned to Madrid and studied harmony at the Royal Conservatory of music of Madrid and romance Philology at the University of Madrid, where earned a doctorate in philosophy and letters in 1956 with extraordinary prize. Then he/she was Professor of literature at several institutes.

As composer can be held self-taught, though he/she studied at the Conservatory of Madrid and attended the courses of O. Messiaen and G in Darmstadt. Ligeti. He/She was one of the main representatives of the generation of the 51 and their allegiance to the avant-garde led him to be one of the founders of the new group music (1958); in 1964 he/she participated in the creation of the Group Zaj, and three years later created and directed the magazine probe. Later he/she was also responsible for the magazine rhythm and music critic for the newspaper already in Madrid. He/She was the first President of the Association of Spanish Symphony composers, created in 1977.

His first compositions already reveals the desire of musical renewal that would soon appear in the Spanish avant-garde. German influence and a kind of personal Expressionism, his music part of the twelve-tone technique, although understood in a very personal way that led him to create its own harmonic system he/she called "harmony of levels". He/She was also one of the pioneers in the field of experimental music in action, including several works for actors in their production. His extensive production can cited wave (1983) for Orchestra; the works of Chamber music sound objects (1963) and crossing; the music of action study of impulses (1964) and translations (1964); Study of sounds (1962), for piano, and variations (1973), for organ.

On January 21, 2001 he/she entered the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Fernando to fill the vacancy of Joaquín Rodrigo. After the reading of the speech "Nature, symbol and sound", he/she offered a brief concert which premiered a new Sonata.

Ramón Barce has published two books: frontiers of music (1985) and time of darkness and some smiles (1992).

Throughout his career he/she has received numerous awards and recognitions as the Musical creation of the community of Madrid in 1991 Award and gold medal for merit in fine arts in 1997.


HONEGGER, Marc, dictionary of music. Second Edition. Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1993.

SOPENA IBANEZ, Federico, music history. Madrid: Epesa, 1974.