Chronological Biography

1935 Was born in Barcelona on October 18.

1941-53 Starts his violin and music studies first with Rosa García Faria and later with Joan Massià.

1952-70 Studied harmony and counterpoint, later analysis and orchestral instrumentation with Josep Maria Roma.

1956-60 Undertakes virtuosity studies of violin with Franco Tufari in Milan and with Eugen Prokop in Salzburg.

1960 A car accident suffered in Rome prevented him from continuing his career as a violinist and so he decided to devote himself to composition.

1965 Composes the work Dos Moviments (Two Movements) for String Quartet or String Orchestra which will determine his trajectory as a composer.

1970 Cervelló participates in La Dècada de compositors Catalans (The Decade of Catalan composers) of the VIII Festival Internacional de Música de Barcelona (8th International Music Festival of Barcelona), with his piece Fantasia Concertante (1969) for violin and orchestra.

1972 The string orchestra Young Israel Strings premieres his work Anna Frank, un símbol (1971) (Anna Frank, a symbol) during the X Festival Internacional de Música de Barcelona (10th International Music Festival of Barcelona) and during the Second Cycle of Ibermusica in Madrid.

1973 Receives the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona (the Barcelona City Award) for his symphonic work Seqüències sobre una mort (1970) (Sequences on a death) and composes Balada (Ballad) for piano as a commission of the International Festival of Israel as a homage to the pianist Arthur Rubinstein.

1974 The Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona (The Orchestra of Barcelona) conducted by Heinz Fricke premieres Seqüències sobre una mort and afterwards this same work was recorded and released by RCA with the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Antoni Ros Marbà.

1975 Composes Alliberament (Liberation) for mixed chorus based on a text by his mother Maria Concepció Garriga. This piece was a commission of the Comisaria General de Música (the General Commissioner of Music). The vocal quartet Tomas Luis de Victoria premieres it the next year in Alicante.

1976 Awarded the first prize of the Concurso Permanente del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia for his piece Biogenesis, written in collaboration with the physicist Jorge Wagensberg. Composes Sonata in cinque tempi for solo violin.

1977 Premiere in Madrid of Seqüències sobre una mort by the Orquesta Sinfónica de TVE (RTVE Symphony Orchestra) conducted by Enrique García Asensio. Composes Sonata a la memoria de Pau Casals (Sonata to the memory of Pau Casals) for cello fingered and recorded by Radu Aldulescu. 1979 Appointed President of Association of Cultural Relations Spain-Israel. Premiere of Clamor (1972) for orchestra with the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona conducted by Sydney Hart.

1981 Begins his collaboration as musical critic for the newspaper El País, an activity that will last until 1989.

1982-83 Composes the symphonic poem for orchestra Vers l’Infinit (Towards Infinity) as a commission of the Barcelona Town Hall. It’s a piece inspired by the poem of Giacomo Leopardi “L’infinito”. Composes Studio-Fantasia (1982) for solo piano.

1983 Fantasia Concertante is premiered at Madrid’s Teatro Real, during the Ciclo de la Orquesta sinfónica de RTVE (RTVE Symphony cycle) with Gonçal Comellas as soloist. Concludes the treatise on violin technique entitled Basic Principles on the general technique of the violin.

1984 Premiere of Anna Frank, un símbol in New York with an excellent critique by Bernard Holland in The New York Times.

1985 Dos Moviments (Two movements) is included in the repertoire of the Moscow Virtuosi. The Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona conducted by Antoni Ros Marbà premieres Vers l’infinit in Barcelona.

1986 The same work is premiered in Madrid with the Orquesta Nacional de España (National Orchestra of Spain) conducted by Maximiano Valdés and in Colombia with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá (Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra) conducted by Agustí Cullell.

1987 The English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Enrique García Asensio premieres Lux et umbra (1984-85) –the final version of Biogenesi– at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona.

1988 The Union of Soviet Composers invites him to participate in the III International Contemporary Music Festival held in St. Petersburg. The Moscow Virtuosi conducted by Vladimir Spivakov performs Dos Moviments. The record label Col legno publishes a CD of the concert along with other works by Penderecki, Schnitke and Shchedrin.

1990 Composes Cant nocturn (Nocturnal song) for viola and orchestra commissioned by the Centre for the Dissemination of Contemporary Music. The British magazine The Strad publishes an extensive article by the critic and musicologist Edward Sainati about Cervelló’s music and his vision of the violin repertoire.

1992 Un cant a Pau Casals (1991) is premiered at the oval hall of Montjuïc in the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain during the 1992 Olympic Games held in Barcelona with Lluís Claret as soloist. Member of the Jury of the Premio Internacional de Música Pau Casals (International Music Prize Pau Casals).

1993 Un cant a Pau Casals is performed at the cemetery of El Vendrell because of the 20th anniversary of Pau Casals’ death. Composes Concertino for violin and strings. It’s dedicated to Gerard Claret and the Orquestra Nacional de Cambra d’Andorra (Andorra’s National Chamber Orchestra).

1994 Is invited to the International Festival of Colmar (France) by the Moscow Virtuosi and composes Sonatina for violin which is dedicated to his daughter Susanna.

1996 Composes Petita suite and Moment musical for solo piano in addition to the Divertimenti for two violins. Concertino is performed within the cycle of the Madrid’s Philharmonic Association at the Auditorio Nacional (National Auditorium). Franz-Paul Decker conducts Un cant a Pau Casals with the OBC at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona.

1998 Gemini (1997-98) for violin and cello soloists –work commissioned by the Government of Andorra– is premiered at the National Auditorium of Andorra with Gerard and Lluís Claret as soloists. Composes 4 Capricci for solo violin. The radio Catalunya Música devotes three programs in the radio program “Perfils” directed by Raimon Colomer.

1999 The Science Museum of La Caixa Foundation commissioned him a work to illustrate the exhibition entitled “And then was the shape…” which will become the symphonic score Formes per a una exposició (Shapes to an exhibition) written in collaboration with Jorge Wagensberg.

2000 A book sponsored by The Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya is published –in the series “Col·lecció de Compositors Catalans”– where the essential part of Cervelló’s work can be found. The authors are Xavier Casanoves Danés, Emilio Moreno and Pedro Alcalde. Composes three major works for viola: Sonata per a viola, Souvenir and Leggenda.

2001 Invitation to the Second Meeting of JONDE (National Youth Orchestra of Spain). The orchestra conducted by Gonçal Comellas performs Anna Frank, un símbol. The string quartet Remembrances (1987-99) is premiered by the Italian group David Quartet during the Schubertiada at the Winterthur’s Auditorium. Member of the jury of the XV National Contest in Rotterdam.

2002 Premiere of La sexta noche (1983-1996) (The sixth night) for guitar and orchestra in Madrid with Jaume Torrent as soloist during the ORTVE cycle. He starts a very important relationship with St Petersburg. The Hermitage Orchestra-Camerata of St. Petersburg, conducted by Alexis Soriano, offers a monographic concert at the Hermitage Theatre with four works for Strings (Concerto grosso, Concertino, Dos Moviments and Gemini) which then make up a CD released by Ensayo.

2003 Divertimento 2002, a work commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona (OBC), is premiered in Barcelona by the OBC conducted by Hans Graf. The Academic Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg conducted by Alexis Soriano records Formes per a una exposició at the Great Hall of the Philharmonic. In St. Petersburg are recorded six works for solo violin, two violins and cello. This CD is published by the record label Columna Música. The soloists are Ilia Ioff and Ilia Tepliakov (violins) and Sergei Slovachevsky (cello).

2004 Cervelló is invited by Alicia de Larrocha at the Academia Marshall in Barcelona where several of his works are performed and discussed. Cervelló composes Preludiando for piano solo and dedicates it to Alicia. The young Russian violinist Sergei Maalov performs Concertino with the Camerata of St. Petersburg at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona.

2005 Lux et Umbra is premiered at the Hermitage Theatre during the cycle Afternoons of Spain. Cant nocturn for viola and orchestra is performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia and Enrique Santiago as soloist. Concerto for violin and orchestra is premiered at the Madrid’s Teatro Monumental –fundamental work of Cervelló’s repertoire– with Markus Placci as soloist and RTVE Symphony Orchestra conducted by Uwe Mund. Jordi Cervello turns 70.

2006 The dramatic poem Ybris (2004-05) is premiered in Madrid during the cycle “Music and Myth” of the National Orchestra of Spain (ONE) with Josep Pons as conductor. The same work is performed at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona (cycle “Diumenges al Palau”) with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Sanderling. A monographic concert is held at La Pedrera in Barcelona during the cycle “Celebracions” of the Fundació Caixa Catalunya with the Italian group Prometheus Quartet. In September, the string quartet Etüden nach Kreutzer (work commissioned by L’Auditori of Barcelona) is premiered by the Quartet Casals, first in Hamburg’s Mozartsaal and in October in Barcelona for the opening of the Chamber Hall of L’Auditori. On September 25, he receives the award Creu de Sant Jordi of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the highest distinction from the Government of Catalonia.

2007 In November a monographic concert was dedicated to him at the Auditorium of the Perpignan’s Conservatory with the Orchestre Perpignan Mediterranée conducted by Daniel Tosi, during the Aujourd’hui Musiques Festival.

2008 Cervelló donates his files and musical collection to the Library of Catalonia along with the presentation of the CD (published by Columna Música) with Cervelló’s works for piano performed by the pianist José Enrique Bagaria.

2009 The Banda Municipal de Barcelona commissioned him a work for piano with wind instruments and percussion (Concert per a piano, instruments de vent, contrabaix i percussio). At the same time Cervelló writes the version for symphony orchestra (Concert-Hommage). In December, his works for string quartet are recorded in St. Petersburg by the Atrium String Quartet (Remembrances, Dos Moviments, Etüden nach Kreutzer and A Bach). Cervelló composes Le Matin, a trio for violin, cello and piano which will be premiered next year during the cycle Nous Sons at L’Auditori of Barcelona performed by the Brouwer B3 Trio.

2010 Receives the National Music Award for his compositions, with great depth and inspiration, which shines his exceptional mastery of the strings. Resident composer of the 2010-2011 season of the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès (OSV). During this season the works performed are: Divertimento 2002, Concertino, Anna Frank, un símbol and Etüden nach Kreutzer. Fanfara is premiered at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, a work commissioned by the OSV to open the 2010-2011 season. Composes the cantata Vergine-Madre.

2011 Concert per a piano, instruments de vent, contrabaix i percusssió (Concerto for piano, wind instruments, double bass and percussion) is premiered. It’s a work commissioned by the Banda Municipal de Barcelona to commemorate its 125th anniversary. It’s a prolific year in the composition. Cervelló composes: Natura-Contranatura for symphony orchestra, 4 Intermezzi for piano, Trumpet-Fantasy for trumpet and piano, Duo-Sonata for violin and piano, Sonata for cello and Piano, Quartet St. Petersburg, Entre-deux for viola and cello, Concerto di maggio for piano and orchestra, Ka-din for violin and piano and Il Diavolo for violin and piano. Member of the Jury of the XI International Violin Competition Pablo Sarasate. His work Perpetuum mobile is a required piece in this contest. During the XV Chamber Music Season in Santa Cristina d’Aro are premiered Duo-Sonata, with Miguel Colom (violin) and Denis Lossev (piano) and the 4 Intermezzi with Marc Heredia as pianist. On November 16, Il Diavolo is premiered at the Carnegie Hall in New York.

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