Festival Castell Peralada

Musician, composer and doublebass performer

Family line of musicians

Jaume CERVERA-Marquès

Jaume CERVERA Marquès

Castelló d'Empúries 1858

Barcelona 1950

 The School of Music Peralada worked last XIX th century and early XX th, and very little has been said about the relevant figure of its director from the the foundation until the school was definitely closed.


  Jaume Cervera-Marquès was born in Castelló de Empúries in 1858. He was the son of Josep Cervera-Rocalba, the one who drove the first steps of the art of music. Soon, however, he got a great knowledge of several instruments, as well as harmony and composition. When he moved to Torroella de Montgrí, he learned the craft of cork making, started to wrote the first compositions.


  Mr. Antoni de Rocabertí , Count of Zavellà, (1831-1887), "lawyer and resident in Paris with his brother Tomàs, Count of Peralada, mining engineer and his sister Joana, they decided to return to the land of Empordà and then undertook the relevant reforms the properties of Peralada, around the 1875.


"Very soon, he got skilled for several musical instruments, for composition i harmony...."

 Among the many works carried out by the two brothers, shall be mentioned the foundation of a School of Music in 1882, the direction of which was entrusted to Jaume Cervera-Marques, on June 5th of 1882, first intended for children of the castle employees, and shortly after extended for free to other children Peralada and the village neighbourhoods.

Franscesc Civil talks about the school: "The education of the School was completely free including instruments, books and any other thign that shoould be required. Shedule: From 8 to 10 A.M., Lyrics: from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. , Music-notation: Afternoon, 2 to 4, up to five sports, and 5 to 6 instruments.


 The Count loved children and was very glad to provide them all possible attractions, even those hired a man that had been sergeant in the army, who was a printer, to the train them in gymnastics and pre-military training. He  accompanied the children to the parish and catechism,  and provide to the elderly and the poor with vouchers to get some bread was happening good for newspapers bread and other basic things. It was a real distributor of its richness by sharing it with to all the people. 












 About the School of Music, every trip of his brother in Paris was used to provide with the music instruments: saxophone , sarrufons, bassoons, clarinets, tenoras and tibles. With the students and the instruments, a small orquestra was created , to give them practical background thatr performed in processions and public meetings, getting a good reputation among the people and was repeatedly requested for festivals and popular parties.


 The students in completing their studies in Palau, the counts were flattered by the instrument with which they had studied. The program of music education itself was thatched by director James Cervera. The students came well prepared and fit to go to any orchestra. Hence arose the brothers Joseph and Michael Serra and Bonal, Jose Ferrer, Rafael Ferrer and father of the composer Fito, tenors and Joseph Calvet Mariano Lleonsí, etc.. In 1890 Michael Serra met several of the disciples of the School and founded the couplet The Principal Peralada with the following training: Mount Martin (flute), James and Joseph Serra Llongueras (tibles), Marian and Anton Mount Calvet (tenor) John B. Mount and Michael Albreda (cornetins), John P. Mont Joaquim and Grosseto (fiscorns) and Miquel Serra (bass). This couplet would come to be one of the first in the country and all that deserves a separate chapter, we only now that says the writer Josep Pla: (...) "It was a couplet that an emphasis on the set orchestra and it sounded with Fidelity. (...) The passing of musicians to the school gave a great humility, the sense of obedience, of sociability and integration, refine the professional honesty, the cops of genius and tricks. Moreover, the constant contact with the musicians gave a dry land so linked with the landscape to their executions, as a strict fidelity to the interpretation that what occurred was a job well done. "

This was largely thanks to James Cervera.


 Count Zavellà died in 1887 and following years his brother and sister. Although Francis Civil mark that after these deaths. "The school is not got and soon was nothing but a memory," the fact is that was until July 1914 that James Cervera left the post of director after 33 years in office, as evidenced by the document reproduces.

Shortly before (1913) James Cervera had moved to Rose, because he was not earning the salary stipulated in the school and move forward in charge of a shop that his father had bought for 300 pesetas in 1856.

Then he was a trade, giving private lessons and playing music in church. Homa was a lot that had trace: fix watches, was a carpenter, making plans for a house, marking the divisions of plots of a field, studied bookkeeping books in Figueres, etc.. Cervera and Marquis James died in Barcelona where he lived his daughter Isabel in 1950. 85 years, namely 22 July 1943, but had written a Sardana dedicated to his children: "Hojas of a flower."


  Married to Mary and Bret Campmol of Borrassà, had 7 children: Joseph, John, Mary, Martin, Emilio, Naeus, and Isabel. Only the eldest son, Joseph, devoted to the music. John was a Carmelite father, Emilio was the priest, the National Snow and Elizabeth pharmaceutical master.










  A very nice story of Jaume Cervera refers to when the railroad arrived in Figueres. A group of musicians eager to meet the train, took the instruments and moved to Barcelona. Once on Rambla owner offered to a coffee stop playing because sardanes only in exchange for passing the plate. The offer was rejected but not the establishment's side. They were a great success, provided that the two days spent in Barcelona will be prolonged to 5, without accepting to go play in the establishment that had rejected.


  The documents reproduced here are a small part of the daily account book that took James Cervera and thorough investigation since 1882 and throughout their stay in Peralada as director of the Music School of the castle. As you can see we are facing an exceptional document of interest to learn more about this school is so important in the development of the band and their music performers and composers. Again remerciem Mr. Emilio Cervera free and grandson of James Cervera and Marquis, who has all the material and its memory, which is not short-, so that we may disclose such interesting episodes of our music.


"The stduents, once finish de career at the Palace, the counts gave them as a gift the instrument they used for stud. The musica studies plan was made directly from Jaume Cervera."

"He was a very skilled man: fixing wall clocks, carpenter, house drawer, bookeeping, etc


Peralada 1883 - 1969 Roses


© Cervera-Estate, Roses 2018

Girona (Spain)