Xavier Montsalvatge Bassols
Girona , 11 de març de 1912
Barcelona , 7 de maig de 2002


He studied at the Escola Municipal de Música of Barcelona with Enric Morera, Jaume Pahissa and Lluís Millet. The performances of the Orquestra Pau Casals made a great impact on him, particularly after seeing composers such as Sergei Prokofiev, Béla Bartók or Igor Stravinsky. Although he won a few prizes before the Civil War, it was Cinco canciones negras (1945) that made him internationally renowned. This work, together with others like Quarteto Indiano (1952), constituted the first period of his work, also known as “antillista”. Later, he developed more personal paths with works such as the Desintegració morfològica de la Chacona de Bach (1962) where he used avant-garde languages with a subjective perspective. His compositions became the most frequently performed Catalan music. He also did an important task as music critic for El mañana (1934-1937), Destino (1939-1975) and La Vanguardia (from 1962).

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