Jaume Pahissa i Jo
Barcelona, 1880 - Buenos Aires, 1969
Universal Catalan artist
Musician, composer, orchestra conductor, educator,
music critic and restorer of musical language…
An entire life dedicated to music.
Described by Eugeni d'Ors
as a nineteenth century musician.
Josep Pla defined him: “he is not only an artist: he is
also a man of ideas - two things that in our country
have not been often seen in the same person".
From an artistic lineage
Son of Jaume Pahissa i Laporta
(Sants, 1846 - Barcelona,1928),
illustrator and landscape painter
contemporary to Gaudí, Rusiñol,
Utrillo, and Cases…
He searched for the keys of
composition in the knowledge
of an acclaimed musician such
as Enric Morera.
Immersed in the atmosphere of Modernist Barcelona,
he frequented the social
Els Quatre Gats,
Regular contributor of literary
and music critic magasines
such as "Catalunya Nova",
“Pèl & Ploma”.
He shared friendships and interests with the most
important artists and thinkers of his time: Enric
Granados, Eugeni d’Ors, Pau Casals, Manuel de Falla,
Francesc Pujols, Pompeu Gener, Rafel Moragas, Enric
Morera, Margarida Xirgu, Conxita Badia...
He was a professor at the Liceu High Music
Conservatory and director of the Barcelona
Municipal Music School.
He also wrote important books and essays on music.
The influence of Wagner, Beethoven i Straus and
modern trends in international music scene brought
him to create a composition system that he called
Intertonal System or of "pure dissonance".
Jaume Pahissa left us with an extensive musical
production which includes symphonic pieces, operas,
music for theatre, sardanes, choral music, piano
pieces, chamber music...
Some of his symphonic music include the following pieces:
1905. Trio for a small string orchestra
1905. A les costes mediterrànies. Symphony. Prelude for orchestra.
1905. El combat. Symphonic poem for orchestra.
1908. El camí. Symphonic poem for orchestra.
1919. Nit de somnis. Symphonic poem for orchestra.
1925. Monòdia. Symphony for orchestra.
1926. Suite intertonal. Symphony for orchestra.
1941. Muntanyes del Canigó (Shepherd's song). For soprano and orchestra.
1898. Èdip rei.
1906. La presó de Lleida
1912. Gal·la Placídia.
1919. La Morisca.
1928. La princesa Marguerida.
1900-1905. Peces líriques (piano).
1904. Sonata Fantasia (piano).
1906. Sonata per a violí i piano.
1916-1919. Escenes catalanes.
1933. Quartet (two violins, viola and cello).
Pieces for vocal solist accompanied by chamber orchestra:
1908. Per un bes (veu i piano) ((vocalist and piano) (Poem by Josep Lleonart).
1916. Cançó del lladre )vocalist and piano).
1920. El bastó (vocalist and piano) (Poem by Joan Pijoan, French translation of
1922. Rosa (vocalist and piano, version for orchestra) (Lyrics by Jaume
Pahissa).1930. Madrigal A la manera de "El Tasso".
1931. La promesa (vocalist and piano).
1940. Canciones populares catalanas (vocalist and piano).
During the Spanish Civil War,
he directed the Municipal
School of Music and wrote
music in the film Aurora
de esperanza, produced by SIE
Films (Entertainment Industry
In August 1937 he took advantage of a contract to play
in Radio El Mundo in Buenos Aires to leave with his
family to Argentina.
On 18 December of that same year he played for the
first time in Argentina Cantata en la tumba de García
Lorca, sung by Margarida Xirgu.
The end of the war and the Republic’s defeat meant
that he would stay in exile. He only visited Barcelona
briefly in 1961.
Like for many Catalan artists, the civil war and exile
meant that his work was forgotten.
Les generacions actuals de Catalunya no coneixen
un dels músics més importants d'aquest país,
perquè la difusió de la seva música ha estat molt minsa
i les seves obres més rellevants operístiques
i simfòniques no s’han programat mai. Avui, moltes
de les obres de Jaume Pahissa resten sense editar,
enregistrar i interpretar.
The Jaume Pahissa Foundation was created
in order to spread the musical legacy
of the musician Jaume Pahissa and to recognise
the importance of one of the most important
catalan and universal musicians
of the 20th Century.
His work needs to return to Barcelona where it
deserves to available so that his music can be played.
Main objectives of the Foundation James Pahissa:
• To spread his work in Catalunya and around the world.
• To collect, classify and restore his work at the Foundation’s headquarters.
• To stage one of Jaume Pahissa’s operas in Liceu de Barcelona.
• To have a street or square in Barcelona named after him.
• To have a classroom in Conservatori Municipal de Música de Barcelona
named after him.
• To repatriate the remains of Jaume Pahissa and his wife, Montserrat Campà,
which are currently in Buenos Aires.
• To register all of his work.
• To move the literary and artisitc heritage currently in Buenos Aires to
Barcelona and place it in the Foundation’s Headquarters.