Xavier Benguerel was born in Barcelona in 1931. He moved to Santiago de Chile in 1940 with his parents –as a result of the Spanish Civil War-. He returned to Barcelona in 1954 a key year in his artistic career. There was his entrance to the so called “generation of 51” and the beginning of his studies with Cristòfor Taltabull, although his musical formation was basically self-taught, these two facts are very significant since they imply a rapid insertion within the musical movement of his country and simultaneously a contact with the most advanced and progressive technology that had taken place in Europe in the course of the first half 20th century.

Benguerel was rapidly immersed in the new trends such as those produced by Bartok, or Stravinsky followed shortly by those of the Vienna School. In 1959 he writes Cantata d’Amic i Amat and incorporates in this work new techniques and serial procedures and is included in the programme of the SIMC International Festival 1960, Cologne.

We can.highlight the following landmarks in his career, the monographic concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana of Barcelona (1972); the Luigi Dallapicola prize (1977); the following commissions: City of Hagen; Festival Schütz of Berlin; Südwestfunk of Baden Baden; Biennale of Zagreb; Orquesta Nacional de Madrid; Orquesta de RTVE; Contemporary Alicante Festival, 1990; Torroella de Montgri Festival; Dom zu Speyer; Sant Feliu de Guíxols Festival; Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, etc. One must also note the first performance in Barcelona of his chamber opera “Spleen” (1984) that the following year was presented in Frankfurt’s Opera.

Nevertheless, the work that has most helped to internationally promote his name is Llibre vermell, oratory for soloists, choir and orchestra, based on 14th century songs and dances kept in the Monastery of Montserrat´s famous codex of the same name. The first performance was in the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona in 1988 with later performances in different cities in Europe.

Later on composed Two Poems by Charles Baudelaire, for baritone and orchestra, commissioned by the “Concert of Catalunya’s Millenium” (1991) was first performed that same year at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona.

Books published about his work:

Carles Guinovart and Tomás Marco: Xavier Benguerel (Generalitat de Catalunya, 1991).
Jesús Rodriguez Picó: Xavier Benguerel, work and style (Idea Books, 2001).
Jorge de Persia: Xavier Benguerel, search and intuition (SGAE. 2006).
Tomás Marco: Xavier Benguerel (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 2010).

In 1993 wrote Te Deum, a hommage to the sculptor J.M. Subirachs for soloists choir and orchestra.
In 2001, the Ministry of Culture in Madrid, commission Benguerel to write an opera: I, Dalí, for the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the painter. This opera will be permormed for the first time in June 2011 at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, and in September at the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona.

2005 he was nominated “Patró d’Honor de la Fundació Orfeó Català-Palau de la Música” of Barcelona.The same year he donates all his manuscripts and musical material to the Biblioteca de Catalunya.

2007 he is nominated A Counselor of SGAE.

2015 XIII Premio SGAE de la Música Iberoamericana Tomás Luis de Victoria.

Benguerel's music has a very personal style, from the intimate pieces, for a solo instrument, to opera, cantata, symphonic works or that of chamber music. He owns an extensive discography.

Died in Barcelona on August 10, 2017.