Gerardo Gombau

1906 - 1971



Gombau is one of the most emblematic names of Spanish contemporary music. He is partly responsible for the introduction of Spanish music to what were considered to be the higher aesthetic and sonorous European languages.
In 1942 Gombau founded the Symphonic Orchestra of Salamanca and in 1945 won the Professorship for Accompaniment at the Madrid Conservatory. He later also held the Professorship of Composition.
Before long the Madrid Ateneo (Cultural Association) began to include Gombau’s works in their concert programmes, along with the works of Guridi, Calés Otero, Turina, García Abril, Conrado del Campo and Joaquín Rodrigo, and in the tribute to Bécquer on the occasion of his centenary (1969-1970). Within this tribute Gombau’s work Los invisibles átomos del aire was premiered.
Gombau carried out a noteworthy role in the study and dissemination of others’ work, particularly that of Stravinsky and the Viennese School, by delivering a great number of lectures and analyses on the topic at the Madrid Ateneo.
Gombau published several articles on contemporary music and musicians of his time. Some of these were of great significance due to their subsequent influence on the younger generation of composers, introducing aspects of the dodecaphonic system and the aesthetics of the European composers of the time. Ideas and impressions regarding the pre-eminence of national characteristics (Italian, Belgian or French) over the sound technique employed were expounded by Gombau in the works of Luciano Berio, Henri Pousseur and Pierre Boulez.
UME/SGAE (Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana)