Joan Guinjoan Gispert was born in Riudoms (Baix Camp, Tarragona, Spain) on 28 November 1931. He studied at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu de Barcelona» and later at the «École Normale de Musique» in Paris.
Until 1960 he was a concert pianist. After this, he studied composition and orchestration with maestro Taltabull in Barcelona, at the Paris «Schola Cantorum» under the direction of Pierre Wissmer and in the electroacoustic O.R.T.F. with Jean Etienne Marie.
In 1964, he made contact with the French musical vanguard and turned to full-time composition. From 1966 onwards, he played an important part in spreading the popularity of twentieth-century music at the head of the group «Diabolus in Musica». He has been guest composer and conductor at leading festivals in both Europe and America and has received a number of important awards. He has been Director of the «Centre de Documentació i Difusió de la Música Contemporània» (Centre for the Documentation and Dissemination of Contemporary Music) and artistic director of Barcelona Council's International Festivals of Contemporary Music.
His clearly vitalist music aims for cultural synthesis and is notable for its symbiosis of languages co-ordinated by a personal style whose rhythm, and more especially timbre, evidence its Mediterranean roots.
His opera Gaudí, based on a text by Josep M. Carandell, was commissioned for the 1992 Barcelona Cultural Olympiad.
His extensive catalogue is published by SGAE and includes chamber, vocal and symphonic compositions, which have been interpreted chiefly in Europe and America, and which have been recorded on numerous occasions.
The work Variations on the Theme "Cuncti Simus Concanentes" from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat explores the theme through a series of matrices based on this theme, starting with a light movement that progressively moves on to different structural passages, gradually increasing in speed and culminating in a tremolo in the final chord.