Birth: Barcelona, October 27, 1893.
Death: Barcelona, August 24, 1978.
He was born in Barcelona on October 27, 1983. His mother, Carme Matas Aurigemma, was a disciple of Juan Bautista Pujol, Enrique Granados and Ricart Viñes among others, and a piano teacher at the Municipal School of Music in Barcelona. His father, Josep Ricart i Giroud, was trained as a drawer and painter at the Escola Llotja.
He started with music when he was young. His first concerts date back to 1909, when he was still student at the Barcelona Municipal School of Music. In November 1912 he went to Paris to learn about the methodology of musical studies at the Paris Conservatory with the intention of finishing his training, but returned to Barcelona months later. Between 1914 and 1919 he gave many concerts throughout Spain before establishing his residence in London (1920-1933). From London he travelled around Europe doing concerts in Spain, France, Germany, or Austria.
In the 1930’s, focusing his studies on musicology, he began to make his personal library. Between 1934 and 1935 he collaborated with the ecclesiastical Higini Anglès as an advisor in the preparation of the book "La música a Catalunya fins al segle XIII" (1935). In 1936 he participated in the International Congress of Musicology reading an essay on Musical Instruments in The Hispanic Iconography of the Middle Ages and in 1939 gave his last concert.
In 1942 he obtained the chair of cello at the Municipal School of Music of Barcelona, where he taught until retiring in 1963. In 1946, in collaboration with Josep Barberá and Aureli Capmany, he published the translation and expansion of the Spanish version of Michel Benet's "Music Dictionary". On May 29 of that year the Music Museum was inaugurated, the first of this kind in Spain, and the founder and director was Ricart i Matas himself.
In the late 1940’s Josep Ricart i Matas was appointed honorary collaborator of musicology and folklore of the Diego Velázquez Institute of the Scientific Research Council of Madrid, he was also a member of the CSIC in the Archive of Ethnology and Folklore of Catalonia and honorary collaborator of the Institute of Musicology.
In 1950 he wrote the "Refranero Internacional de la música y la danza", gathering more than 5000 phrases and sayings in 14 languages and dialects. Years later he signed a contract for the edition of the "Diccionario biográfico de la música" (1956).
In the 1960’s he participated as a member and specialist in musicology and musical instruments at several congresses of the ICOM. And also, at the X Congress of the International Society of Musicology (1967).
On December 21 of 1966, he was elected academician of the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi and, in 1969, proposed by Josep Subirá, Julio Gómez García and Xavier de Salas, elected VI academic co-responsible in Barcelona of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
On April 20 of 1977, Josep Ricart i Matas informed in a plenary session to the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Artes de Sant Jordi of his intention to make her heir to all his assets. This gesture was very grateful, for this, that same year, he was awarded the deserved title of academician of merit. In his presentation he read his entry speech, he had not done so when he was elected academic: "El mestre Marià Obiols i Tramullas (1809-1888)".
The following year, on August 24, 1978, he died in Barcelona at the age of 84.
. Refranero Internacional de la Música y de la Danza (1950).
. Diccionario biográfico de la música (1954).
. El mestre Marià Obiols i Tramullas (1809-1888) (1977).