Lluís Millet i Pagès

Founder of the Orfeó Català

Lluís Millet, popularly known as El Mestre Millet, was a musician and conductor, whose main contribution to Catalan culture was as founder of the Orfeó Català along with Amadeu Vives.

Lluís Millet i Pagès was born in Masnou on April 18th 1867 into a family of traders and seamen, who moved to Barcelona when Lluís was just seven years old as a result of the Third Carlist War.

Lluís Millet began his musical training in earnest when he enrolled in the Conservatori del Liceu in 1880.

In 1891, along with Amadeu Vives, Millet founded the Orfeo Català, which apart from its musical contribution, also provided cohesion to the new Catalanism movement that was growing at the time.

In 1893, Millet and Vives were named permanent directors of the Orfeó Català and in 1896, he became professor of music reading and theory and group singing at the Escola Municipal de Música de Barcelona, which he directed from 1930 onwards.

He founded the chapel choir of Sant Felip Neri in 1903 and in 1904 the Revista Musical Catalana, which helped promote religious and popular singing.

Millet wrote a large number of songs and choral works and is best known for putting to music Joan Maragall's El Cant de la Senyera, which is the anthem of the Orfeó Català and has become an alternative Catalan national anthem and resistance song, particularly in troubled times.

He also wrote three books, El cant popular religiós (1912), La cançó popular catalana (1917) and El nostre ideal (1917).

In 1900, Lluís Millet married Dolors Millet i Villà, a pianist and Orfeó singer, who was also from Masnou, with whom he had one son, Lluís Maria Millet i Millet, before she died at an early age in 1907.

Lluís Millet i Pagès died in Barcelona on December 7th 1941 during the dark times shortly after Franco came to power and his body is buried in the Cemetery of Montjuïc.

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