Biography of Xavier Montsalvatge (1912-2002)

Composer and Spanish music critic born in Girona on March 11, 1912, and died in Barcelona on 7 May 2002. He/She belonged to the generation of Catalan musicians continuation of the so-called "group of eight", which later became six, Eduardo Toldrá, Samper, Alberto Blancafort, Juan Lamote de Grignon, Gherad, Mompou. It has an extensive production, which covers nearly all the musical genres (piano, Chamber, Symphony Orchestra, vocal music and opera) as well as being responsible for the background music of some films, which earned a nomination to the Goya Awards for Spanish film, Dragon Rapide.


Study music in Barcelona and enrolled at the school. After completing violin studies, leaned by the composition and studied with teachers Jaume Pahissa, Enric Morera, Luis Millet and coast, which he/she acquired knowledge of harmony and counterpoint. He/She was also associated with the ballet "Boubé-Alexander" company. In addition to his work as a composer, he/she was Professor of composition in instrumentation at the Conservatory in Barcelona since 1970, where he/she obtained a Chair in this discipline in 1978. In this position he/she remained until 1982, date in which he/she retired. Noted music critic activity in various publications, including the journal La Vanguardia, Barcelona, since 1962; and previously since 1942 in fate magazine, which became its director.

His music can be divided into several stages: after nationalist beginnings with the Mediterranean Symphony (1949), followed one with influences from the Antillean music as it is the case of five black songs (1945) or Indian Quartet (1952), then continues with the free polytonality with game (1958), to end with a period influenced by avant-garde styles.

Compositions for piano

Among the works for piano: three impromptus, that conquers the award Rabell of the Foundation Patchot (1933), and Suite burlesque, award Pedrell 1936. Others are: three divertimenti (1941); Digression (1949); Chose Maurice Ravel (1952); Rhythms (1959); Sonatine pour Yvette (1960); Barcelona blues, for two pianos (1961); Sketch (1962); Allegory to Joaquín Turina (1972); Three Divertimentos, for two pianos (1983); Yes, Mompou (for the left hand) (1983); A page for Arthur Rubinstein (for the left hand) (1987); Barceuse to the memory of Oscar Esplá (for the left hand) (1987); Noah's Ark (1990); Kaleidoscope, for two pianos (1990); Schubertian (1993); Four dialogues with piano (1996); Five birds in freedom (1998).

Chamber music

In Chamber music, stand out: Spanish Sketch, for violin and piano (1946); Variations on an Espagnoletta of Giles Farnaby, violin and piano (1947); Three dances concertantes, to (1965) String Orchestra; Indian Quartet for string (1952) Quartet; Self-paraphrase for clarinet and piano (1969); Microrapsodia, for cello and piano (1970); Serenata a Lydia de Cadaqués, for flute and piano (1970); Serenata a Lydia de Cadaqués, for flute and guitar (1972); Sonata concertante, cello and piano (1972); Aura for an image of Ramón Amadeu, for organ (1973); Concertino 1 more 13, for violin and Orchestra by rope (1975); Fantasy, for trumpet and organ (1976); Questions and answers, for quintet of metals (1980); Quadrivium to three Stradivarius, violin, viola and cello (1986); Variations on a theme of anonymous, for harp (1994); Recondita harmony, for violin, viola, cello and piano (1996); and polychrome, for violin and piano (1997), among other works.

Works for Symphony Orchestra

His works for Symphony Orchestra are: Mediterranean Symphony (1949-1998); Partita (1958); Morphological disintegration of the J.S. Bach Chaconne (1962); Labyrinth (1971); Reflexus-Obertura (1973); Fanfare for the joy of peace (1985); Requiem Symphony (1986); Four variations on a theme of "The magic flute" by Mozart (1991); Sortilegis (1992); Bric a Brac (1995); Three illuminated postcards, for string (1995) Orchestra; Eurofanfarria (1998).

Also has an extensive repertoire of symphonic Orchestra with soloists and vocal music as well as three operas: Puss in boots, in an Act and four scenes (1948); A voce in off, in one Act and three scenes (1962); and Babel, in four acts (1960-1995).

His awards and Honors include the award extraordinary of the Conservatorio Municipal Superior de Música of Barcelona through the Kaleidoscope (1955), the city of Barcelona awarded Prize in 1982 by metamorphosis of concert and the national prize of music along with Alicia de Larrocha in May 1985. And the tributes that it has received should be remembered that put the San Sebastián music fortnight in August 1990 and which he/she received on the occasion of his 80th birthday, in 1992, by the National Orchestra of Spain (ONE) and the musical youth of Spain.

Montsalvatge, who took part in many competitions of music as a member of the jury, in recent years has been in charge of the background music from films such as Dragon Rapide (1986) and light and shadow (1988), both directed by Jaime Camino. Thus, in March 1987 was candidate, in its first edition, award Goya for best music by Dragon Rapide, awarded annually by the Academy of Arts and cinematographic Sciences of Spain.

In 1987, he/she published his autobiography, titled autobiographical papers. President of the Spanish section of the SMIC, was a member of the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Jorge in Barcelona, Member of the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Fernando in Madrid, and a member of the Frederic Chopin Society of Warsaw. In May 1996 was finalist at the premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes. On 25 November 1997, together with Juan Antonio Samaranch they were appointed Honorary academic of the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Fernando. He/She entered on June 21, 1998.