Rafael Ferrer

Born: May 22nd, 1911, Sant Celoní (Spain)
Died: March 26th, 1988, Barcelona (Spain)
Nationality: Spanish

Rafael Ferrer learnt to play various musical instruments, most notably the violin, during his youth. He studied solfège, conducting, harmony, counterpoint, and fugue at the Escola Municipal de Música, Barcelona. From the 1930s until the 1950s, he played the violin in various classical and light entertainment orchestras, such as Orquestra Pau Casals, Quartet Català, and the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona, of which he became the vice-chef-conductor. In 1961, he became chef of the Orquestra Municipal de Barcelona, whilst he became maestro of the renowned Orquestra Simfónica de Barcelona one year later – he worked with the symphonic orchestra for five years (1962-1967). He was regularly asked to conduct other orchestras in Spain and abroad, amongst which the Orquestra Nacional de Madrid.

Ferrer has left an impressive oeuvre of compositions in various genres. He penned several classical works, such as ballets and a concerto for violin and orchestra. Moreover, in the field of light music, he composed 29 sardanas, traditional Catalonian circle dances, as well as the soundtracks of more than 30 movies (e.g. ‘La isla mágica’, ‘Rostro al mar’) and, on top of that, a number of animation films.

In 1961, Spain took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time, submitting the song ‘Estando contigo’ which was performed by Conchita Bautista. It was composed by Augusto Algueró, a young composer / arranger from Barcelona, who would later be a conductor in the Eurovision Song Contest himself. Apparently, Algueró did not feel up to the job of conducting the orchestra in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, leaving that job to his fellow Catalonian, Rafael Ferrer. This first Spanish effort came 9th in a field of 16 songs.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Rafael Ferrer i Fitó will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1961: Estando contigo