Born 1942 in Madrid. He studied violin and composition simultaneously with his secondary and law studies in which he graduated 1963 at the University of Madrid. He also took courses in Psychology and Sociology. He extended his musical studies in Germany and France and Boulez, Stockhauen, Maderna, Ligeti and Adorno among his masters. In 1967 became assistant of Stockhausen. In 1969 and 1971 he obtained international awards from the Gaudeamus Foundation (Holland). He received the National Prize of Music in 1969 and the Honor Prize at the VI Paris Biennale. He was also awarded the Golden Harp Prize (1975) and the Casals Award in 1976.In 1976 he obtained the UNESCO´s International Rostrum of Composers Award.
Since 1963 he also undertaken musical criticism and he has published several books and lectured at European an American Universities and Centers. For three years he was Professor of Composition in Madrid High Conservatory of Music and Professor of History of Music in the University UNED. He has been on the staff of Spain´s Radio Nacional music service for eleven years. From 1981 to 1985 he was Managing Director of the Autonomous Body “Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España”. 1985 – 1995 he has been Director of the Center for Advancement of Contemporary Music, a post held jointly since October 1990 to December 1994 with this of Technical Director of the Spanish National Orchestra and Choir. In 1985 he founded the International Festival for Contemporary Music in Alicante and he has directed the first 11 editions. In 1996 he was appointed as Director of the Madrid´s Autumn Festival and in May 1996 General Director of Music and Theater in the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture until July 1999. 1993 elected member of the Spanish Society of America and in 1993 Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Spain. 1998 Doctor Honoris Causa by the Madrid’s University.
He has composed six operas, one ballet, ten symphonies, chamber and choral music etc. In November 2002 received the National Award for Music for his whole work and in 2004 the Madrid´s Community Music Award. In May 2012 received the Great Cross of the 2th May from the Madrid´s Community. 2014 Golden Medal of the Fine Arts. 2016 XV Ibearoamerican Music Award Tomás Luis de Victoria. Actually he writes exclusively musical works and musical essays.