Spanish composer and musicologist. He was the leader of the Spanish nationalist movement in composition and also became a famous scholar in the domain of old Spanish church music and folk music, much of which he edited. He was the uncle of Carlos Pedrell.
Pedrell was almost wholly self-taught, but learnt much as a chorister at Tortosa Cathedral. He first published music in 1871 and had his first opera, El ultimo Abencerraje, produced at Barcelona in 1874. From that time he taught music history and aesthetics at the Madrid Conservatory, but settled at Barcelona in 1894, where he worked for the revival of old and the spread of new Spanish music. He edited the complete works of Tomás de Victoria and a collection of early Spanish church music, early stage and organ music, and other pieces.
Among his later operas, Los Pirineos (1902), La Celestina (1903), and El Comte Arnau (1921) are the most important; he also wrote incidental music for King Lear. His many pupils included Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, and Roberto Gerhard.
WorksOperaEl último Abencerraje (after Chateaubriand, 1868), Quasimodo (on Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris, 1875), Cleopatra (1881), Los Pirineos (1902), La Celestina (1903), El Conde Arnau (1904), Visión de Randa; four early light operas.
Orchestral incidental music for Shakespeare's King Lear; symphonic poems.
Church music Mass, Requiem, and Te Deum.
Other cantatas, chamber music, string quartet, piano music, songs.