Joan Grimalt i Santacana

Professor (Music Theory Dept.) at the Escola superior de música de Catalunya, Barcelona.

Orchestra conductor (Vienna University), philologist (Barcelona University), PhD in musicology (Universitat autònoma de Barcelona) with a thesis on Gustav Mahler, which the late Raymond Monelle supervised until his decease. After a decade devoted exclusively to interpretation, conducting above all opera in Central Europe, he combines since his going back to Catalonia practical musicianship with teaching and research, at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Conservatory), at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.

Joan’s main field of research is Musical Signification, especially those regions on the edge to literature and language: hermeneutic, rhetoric, poetic metres. He teaches analysis, music appreciation, ‘Music as a Social Phenomenon’ and score reduction. As a conductor, his former involvement with the Vienna Volksoper (1995-1997) stands out.

Grimalt is a member of the international research group on Musical Signification around the figures of prof. Eero Tarasti (University of Helsinki), Márta Grabócz (University of Strasbourg) and Robert Hatten (Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, Austin, Texas). He has presented and published most of his research at the periodical international conferences of this group. In one of his books, Música i sentits (‘Music and Senses’, 2014), Joan gathers his colleagues’ and his own research on musical meaning in a systematic textbook. An English version of it is due to appear in 2020.


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