At the age of 24, already a rising star of Barcelona's musical life, Xavier Montsalvatge's composing was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. When the war ended he quickly achieved critical and popular success in works that merged an attractive polytonality with rhythms and melodies derived from the Catalan experience in Cuba. But the spread of his music was seriously impeded by the policies of Francisco Franco's decades-long dictatorship, which privileged a uniform cultural viewpoint throughout Spain. The regime persecuted representatives of Montsalvatge's Catalan culture, forbidding many of its millennium-old manifestations and endeavoring to stamp out its very language. Despite this, Montsalvatge became one of Barcelona's most influential cultural forces through his music and his music journalism. Now, a century after his birth and a decade after his death, as increasing worldwide attention is being focused on the large and attractive Montsalvatge catalogue, this first biography from outside Montsalvatge's home circle introduces the man, his culture, and the breadth of his compositions to an international audience. It is a compelling story from one of the least-illuminated corners of 20th-century history.