Salvador Brotons was born in Barcelona into a family of musicians. He studied flute with his father and continued his studies at the Barcelona Conservatory of Music, obtaining qualifications in flute, composition and orchestral conducting. His professors included, among others, Antoni Ros-Marbà (conducting), Xavier Montsalvatge (composition) and Manuel Oltra (instrumentation). In 1985 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to the United States where he obtained his Doctorate in Music from Florida State University. As a composer he has written more than 125 works, mainly for orchestra and chamber ensembles. He has received sixteen composition awards including the Spanish National Orchestra Award (1977) for his Four Pieces for Strings, the Golden Youth Award (1980), the City of Barcelona Award (in 1983) for his First Symphony and in 1986 for Absences for narrator and orchestra), the Southeastern Composers League Award for his Sinfonietta da Camera (1986), The Madison University Flute Choir Composition Award (1987) for his Flute Suite, and the Queen Sofia Prize (1991) for his Virtus for orchestra. Brotons has received many commissions, and several of his pieces have been published and recorded in Europe and the United States under labels such as EMI, Auvidis, Albany Records, Naxos, Claves, and RNE.
Salvador Brotons has been the conductor and music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (WA) since 1991. He has also been the conductor and music director of the Vallès Symphony Orchestra (1997–2002) in his native Barcelona and the Balearic Islands Symphony Orchestra in Palma de Mallorca (1998–2001; 2009–). He is on the faculty of the Escola Superior de Música de Barcelona, where he teaches orchestra conducting and composition. In 2002 he received the Florida State University Alumni Award for his professional achievements. Brotons has been invited to guest-conduct many orchestras around the world. He has guest-conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, the Moscow Virtuosi, the RTVE Orchestra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Málaga in Spain, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela, the Filharmónica de Montevideo in Uruguay, I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan (Italy), the Orchestre des Guides in Belgium, the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen and Wuppertal Orchestra (Germany), the Orquesta Sinfónica de la UANL (Monterrey, Mexico), the Beijing Symphony Orchestra (China) and the Bucheon Symphony and Wonju Symphony in South Korea. He also appears regularly as a guest conductor with the Raanana Symphonette and the Kibutz Orchestra in Israel. From September 2008 he has been music director of the Barcelona Symphonic Band, and from September 2009 of the Orquestra Simfònica de Balears Ciutat de Palma.