Robert Gerhard
Valls , 1896
Cambridge , 1970



He studied under E. Granados and F. Marshall (piano). Between 1916 and 1921 he studied also musicology and composition under Felip Pedrell. He collected songs of oral tradition for the Ethnography and Folklore Archive of Catalonia. In 1923 he moved to Vienna to study with Arnold Schönberg, with whom he worked until 1928. In 1931, he was appointed professor of music at the Escola Normal. He was part of the group Compositors Independents de Catalunya (Group of the Eight) together with Blancafort, Mompou, Toldrà, Ricard Lamote and Samper. He promoted the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival in Barcelona in 1936. In 1939 he decided to exile and settled at King's College in Cambridge, where he remained for the rest of his life. He composed for the BBC and in 1968 he was appointed honorary doctor by the University of Cambridge. His extensive output offers his own perspective on different styles from neoclassicism to serialism whilst making use of music of oral tradition. He is considered the greatest Catalan composer of the 20th-century.