Born in Barcelona, son of writer Xavier Benguerel Llobet and Rosa Godó
The Benguerel family head into exile in Chile, alongside other Catalan
intellectuals fleeing the Spanish Civil War.
He begins his musical education.
He debuts his first piece, a Sonata for violin and piano.
The Benguerel family returns to Barcelona after forty years in exile.
He wins first prize in the Joventuts Musicals de Barcelona’s
Composition Competition with his Divertimento for flute,
clarinet and bassoon. The entries were judged by a panel made up of
Joan Massià, Xavier Montsalvatge, Eduard Toldrà and Joaquim
He marries Marta García Figueras, by whom he had three children:
Marta, Mónica and Marc.
He receives private tuition from the maestro Cristòfor Taltabull.
He composes Cantata D’Amic i Amat (Cantata of Friend
and Beloved), a piece which incorporates serial techniques and procedures,
performed for the first time in 1960 at the SIMC International Festival
He joins the board of directors of Joventuts Musicals de Barcelona,
an organisation then chaired by Dr. Jordi Roch and which would play
a key role in promoting works by the majority of Catalan composers and
The birth of the International Music Festival, which would establish
itself for the next twelve years as one of the most important music-related
activities in Catalonia. Benguerel was part of its management team from
Launch of his first record, featuring his Concerto for two flutes and
strings, as recorded by Jean Pierre Rampal and Salvador Gratacós
and sponsored by Joventuts Musicals.
In Baden-Baden he meets Prof. Dr. Heinrich Ströbel, a keen promotor
of contemporary music, who commissions him to compose what would come
to be known as his Concerto for organ and orchestra, which
was performed for the first time in 1971 in Baden-Baden.
He meets two German players, Prof. Siegfried Fink and Prof. Siegfried
Behrend, who inspire the composition of various pieces for percussion
and for guitar.
Monographic concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
He debuts his Concerto for percussion and orchestra in Frankfurt
with the Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by Eliahu Inbal.
He receives the Luigi Dallapiccola Prize, awarded by Club Master 77
by a judges panel made up of Xavier Montsalvatge, Joan Guinjoan, Montserrat
Albet and Tomás Marco.
Heinrich Schiff debuts the Concerto for cello, commissioned
by Südwestfunk of Baden-Baden.
He meets Silvia Gasset, then President of the Chamber Opera of Catalonia.
He debuts his chamber opera Spleen with this ensemble in 1984.
Benguerel separates from his wife and becomes romantically involved
with Silvia. Various musical projects emerge from this relationship,
including the suggestion that would eventually lead to one of his most
important and well-known works, Llibre vermell.
Premiere performance of Spleen at Frankfurt Opera House.
His piece Llibre Vermell is debuted at the Gran Teatre del
Liceu. It would later return to the Liceu during the 1992 Olympics in
Barcelona. It is one of the composer’s most well-known scores,
both in concert and in recordings.
He debuts Réquiem a la memoria de Salvador Espriu (Requiem
to the memory of Salvador Espriu) at the Torroella de Montgrí
Music Festival, which commissioned the piece.
He meets orchestra conductor Leo Krämer, one of the most enthusiastic
promotors of his choral symphonies.
He is commissioned to write a piece to commemorate a thousand years
of the Catalan nation (Catalonia). He composes Dos poemas de Charles
Baudelaire (Two poems by Charles Baudelaire) based on the translation
into Catalan by his father. It is performed for the first time at the
Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The Generalitat of Catalonia publishes the first volume of
its Collection of Catalan Composers, dedicated to his works and written
by Carles Guinovart and Tomás Marco.
He composes a Te Deum in honour of the sculptor Josep Maria
He writes and debuts 7 Fábulas de La Fontaine (7 Fables
by La Fontaine), also based on the Catalan version produced by his father.
The Madrid Ministry of Culture commissions him to compose an opera to
mark the centenary of the birth of Salvador Dalí, which would
fall in the year 2004. The opera, with the title “Yo, Dalí”
(‘I, Dalí’), will be performed for the first time
in Madrid in 2011, and later in Barcelona.
Idea Books publishing house publishes a book by Jesús Rodríguez
Picó with the title Xavier Benguerel, obra y estilo
(‘Xavier Benguerel, works and style’).
The Barcelona and National Symphony Orchestra of Catalonia commissions
him to create his Concerto for piano and orchestra. It was performed
for the first time the following year, with Albert Atenelle as soloist.
He is named Honorary Patron of the Fundación Orfeó Català-Palau
de la Música.
His 75th birthday is commemorated with various concerts.
He donates all of his manuscripts and material to the Biblioteca de
Catalunya national archives.
SGAE launches a book to mark this event, which was written by Jorge
de Persia and published with the title Xavier Benguerel, búsqueda
e intuición (‘Xavier Benguerel, search and intuition’).
The recording (by Columna Música) of Réquiem
is released, and is set to win the 2007 CD Compact Award in the choir
Died in Barcelona on August 10, 2017.