Frederic Mompou is probably the most universal Catalan composer of our time.

Born in Barcelona the 16th of April 1893 and died in the same city on the 30th of June 1987.

While studying with the well-known professor Pere Serra he discovered the music in vogue at the time in a concert in the Sala Mozart in Barcelona where Gabriel Fauré presented his latest compositions, the event inspired Mompou to compose. Two years would go by before he found his own chord: the metallic chord that reminded him of the familiar ring of the bells from his grandfathers Dencausse factory, that is how he started his creative work.

He traveled to Paris for the first time in October 1911, and stayed there the academic year. He worked with Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix (who would later become his principal promoter and interpreter giving world premieres of his music). Mompou returned to Paris the following years but was forced to return to Barcelona because of the First World War. In Barcelona he composed Impressions Intimes, Pessebres, Scènes d’Enfants, Suburbis, Cants Màgics

He was in touch with other young Catalan musicians: Blancafort, Toldrà, Gerhard, etc. They will later create the Grup dels Vuit (Group of the Eight) with B. Samper, A. Grau, Lamote de Grignon and Gibert Camins.

His first public recognition as a composer was in Paris where F. Motte-Lacroix premiered works in a concert on April 15th 1921. The concert was a huge success and critics, especially E. Vuillermoz from the newspaper Le Temps, who wrote in detail about the concert. After this concert, his name was heard as well and as often as his French contemporaries Ravel, Debussy, Satie, etc., and Mompou became a public figure in the high Parisian society for many years.

Mompou was a quiet, timid and introverted man, with many communication problems and the arrival on the scene of new music, especially the second school of Vienna, provoked a creative crisis in 1933.

Once again he returns to Barcelona in 1941, fleeing from war (he would remain in Barcelona until his death). In Barcelona he met the young pianist Carmen Bravo, who would later become his wife. He began to compose again, beginning a long period of creativity that lasted until 1979, when health problems stopped him from composing permanently.


The musical world of Mompou is full of color, sounds and images, all a mark of the Catalonia that surrounded him. An easy going man, a great observer, he searched for ways to express the profound feelings that were hidden deep inside of him. Timid and soft spoken, his music reflects the thought and ideas that represent the man that he was.


The main body of his works was for the piano, partly because of his training as a concert pianist, although he did write a few chamber works and an oratorio. The voice was very special to him and he wrote a large body of songs, many that have given him international fame.

Mompou himself said: “The best word is the unspoken word, as all know I am a man of few words and composer of few notes… Music is written for the inexpressible, it should seem to come out of the shadow in order to move back in to the shadow. I find myself forced to find new paths, I don’t think I could ever enclose my music in the correct world.”

About his Música Callada, Mompou he said: “This music has nor air or light. It is a weak heart beat. One doesn’t ask that it move far in space, but its mission is to penetrate in the great depths of our soul and in the most secret regions of our spirit. This music is quiet (callada) because we hear it internally. Contained and reserved. Its emotion is secret and only takes a sonorous form in the resonances under the great cold dome of our loneliness. I hope that my música callada, this newborn, brings us closer to new warmth of life, and the expression of the human heart, that is always the same and always renewing.”

He was awarded many prizes, honors and publications for his creative output.