JOAQUIM HOMS (1906 - 2003)
Joaquim Homs was born in 1906, the son of a music-loving doctor. He began his musical studies when he was eight, completing his advanced studies as a cellist at the age of fifteen in 1922, going on to qualify as an engineer in 1929. After public concert performances, he soon began to feel the need to compose and, through his fortunate acquaintance with Roberto Gerhard, became the latters only pupil in 1930. His studies with Gerhard came to an end in 1936 with the Spanish Civil War and Gerhards exile abroad and he continued his studies by himself.
The bare facts of the life of Joaquim Homs, the performance of his music internationally, notably at the ISCM Festivals in Paris, Warsaw and Stockholm in the 1930s and the subsequent honours he has received in his native Barcelona, and from the Spanish Government, are of less importance than the music on which his distinction truly rests. It is through works such as Cementiri de Sinera, the second wind quintet in memory of Roberto Gerhard, the setting of Rabindranath Tagore in Ocells Perdts, his eight string quartets, the Two Soliloquies and, indeed, any one of more than two hundred works that we shall find the real Joaquim Homs, his suffering, his joy, his whole life, expressed through his music.