JOSEP MARIA RUERA (1900 - 1988)
Between 1927 and 1930 Josep María Ruera (1900–88) wrote his concert sardana, Tocs de festa (Festival Fanfares). A pupil of Enric Morera and Joan Lamote de Grignon, Ruera had a special talent for writing sardanas of a complexity and ambition unusual for the genre. He was also a notable composer in other areas, and his 3 Moviments simfónics (3 Symphonic movements) were premièred at the previously mentioned ISCM Festival in Barcelona in 1936. However, Ruera’s career, like that of so many other Catalan composers, was cut short by the Civil War and its tragic consequences. He lost his wife in the bombing of Granollers in 1938 and after the war his creative activity was severely limited by the financial hardship in which he found himself. Tocs de festa, conceived as a tribute to Stravinsky, is an excellent example of the “exultant force of his music” (in the apt words of pianist Josep María Roger, who gave the première of this luminous piece).