Cristian Canton Ferrer

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Cristian Canton i Ferrer (born 1980, Tarrasa, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) is a Catalan writer, musicologist and pianist, known for his contributions to the re-discovery of Catalan musicians and their legacies in America and the historical study of the Catalan migrations, core of his literary production.[1] He is also a computer scientist in the field of artificial intelligence, working as a researcher at Facebook in Seattle (WA).


Born in a family with noble roots (his brother is the current Baron of Canton), he received a scientific and musical education in Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and France. His main subject of research is the migrations between Catalonia and America and his first work, in 2010, the biography of the Catalan musician Luis G. Jordà, highly praised in Mexico but completely forgotten in Spain.[2][3] His research had made him to travel frequently to Mexico where he got in contact with high society and the cultural circles of Mexico City, specially with the pianist Silvia Navarrete and the historian Guillermo Tovar de Teresa. As a result of this collaboration, Canton found the long lost manuscript of the Independence Cantata (Cantata Independencia) by Luis G. Jordà that had his first world premiere during the celebrations of Mexico's Independence Bicentennial.[4][5]

In 2010, as part of the celebrations of Mexico's Independence Bicentennial, Canton he was entrusted with the job of writing the biography of Catalan composer Jaime Nunó, author of the national anthem of Mexico, task that entailed extensive traveling around America until he found the only alive descendant of Nunó.[6][7] The recovery of Nunó's personal archives allowed writing the first complete biography of this composer,[8][9][10][11] highlighting the importance of Catalan musicians in America. Canton is also well known for his efforts in genre studies, especially in the role of women in Latin American 19th-century music.[12]

In 2010, Canton founded a publishing company, Mozaic Editions, with headquarters in Oxford and Barcelona. The objective of this company is to publish and promote the musical heritage of Catalan composers, mostly forgotten in Catalonia but of some prestige and renown in America.[13][14][15] In order to fund the research activities related with Mozaic Editions, Canton donated his personal library, containing 12.000 music scores, mainly manuscripts and first editions of Latin-American composers from the 17th to 19th centuries. At the same time, Canton significantly contributed to the Catalonia-Mexico relation through the Mexican-Catalan Society, of which he is a member. He has given numerous conferences, both in Mexico and Catalonia, revolving around the common cultural heritage of both countries.[16][17]

Apart of his literary and musical activities, Canton holds a PhD in telecommunication engineering by the Technical University of Catalonia and is the author of a number of publications in the field of human-computer interaction.[18] In 2009, he was selected to co-star a TV spot for the Technical University of Catalonia.[19] Among his scientific contributions, he introduced the concept of structural annealing into the field of Monte Carlo methods.[20] During his academic years at the Technical University of Catalonia, Canton was selected, together with a team of Catalan researchers,[21] in 2002, to collaborate with the European Space Agency in one of the first parabolic flights. The conducted experiments, supervised by Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels, on the capillarity effect under weightlessness conditions, proved feasible to grow plants in Lunar soil.

His publications and research have been awarded and/or supported by the Council of Les Masies de Roda (2009), the Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona (2010), la Casa América Cataluña (2010), the Council of Sant Joan de les Abadesses (2010), the Provincial Deputation of Girona (2010), the General Consulate of Mexico in Barcelona (2010), the Ramon Llull Institute (2011, 2012), the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes in México (2011), the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico (2012), among others.[22]

Currently, he combines his musicology activities with scientific research in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision.[23] In year 2012, he joined Microsoft Research in Cambridge (UK) and later relocated to Seattle where he currently resides.


  • Cristian Canton et al. Centenario 1910 México. Ed. Fundación Conmemoraciones 2010, A.C. Sextil Editores, 2009.
  • Cristian Canton. Vida i obra de Luis G. Jordà (1869-1951). El músic de les Masies de Roda que va triomfar a México. Ed. Ayuntamiento de les Masies de Roda, 2010.
  • Cristian Canton y Raquel Tovar. Jaime Nunó. Un santjoaní a América. Ed. Casa América-Cataluña, 2010.
  • Cristian Canton y Raquel Tovar. Jaime Nunó. Un sanjuanense en América. Ed. Casa América-Cataluña, 2010.
  • Cristian Canton. Luis G. Jordà: Un músico catalán en el México porfiriano. Mozaic Editions, 2011.
  • Cristian Canton. Jaume Nunó: su legado musical. Co-edition by the National Fund for Culture and Arts / National Council for Culture and Arts and Mozaic Editions, 2012.
  • Cristian Canton. Músics catalans a Amèrica: amb la música a una altra banda (essay, in Catalan and Spanish), 2014 (under review).
  • Cristian Canton. Un perfum tan llunyà (novel, in Catalan), 2014 (under review).


  1. ^ Interview to Cristian Canton, expert in the Catalan migrations to America in the 19th century (TV) (in Catalan). Vic, Spain: El 9 Nou. 25 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Manzanares, Jordi (21 April 2010), "Un terrassense recupera la figura de un músico que triunfó en México", Diari de Terrassa, Terrassa, p. 9 
  3. ^ Azar, Lázaro (18 June 2010), "Sotto voce: Ni a quién creer...", Reforma, de México, p. 28 
  4. ^ Azar, Lázaro (19 November 2010), "De Jordà y su Independencia", Reforma, de México, p. 24 
  5. ^ "La obra Independencia, fechada en 1910, será interpretada por la Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Carlos Chávez", Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes - Boletín de Prensa, de México, 10 November 2010, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  6. ^ Figueroa, Adrián (27 January 2011), "Hallan baúl con partituras inéditas y objetos personales de Jaime Nunó", Crónica, de México, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  7. ^ Vilarodà, Jordi (20 December 2010), "En Cristian y la Raquel", El 9 Nou, Vic, p. 9 
  8. ^ Mary, Kunz Goldman (4 May 2011), "La vida Buffalo", The Buffalo News, Buffalo, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  9. ^ Ramírez, Peniley (18 July 2011), "El genio olvidado", Imagen de Veracruz, Veracruz, archived from the original on 12 September 2012, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  10. ^ Manzanares, Jordi (19 April 2011), "El compositor del himno de México vivió en Terrassa", Diari de Terrassa, Terrassa, p. 11 
  11. ^ Escoto, Eduardo (17 September 2011), "Luces de musicología iberoamericana", El Informador, Guadalajara, pp. 14–15, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  12. ^ Figueroa, Adrián (19 January 2011), "Descubren cuatro obras de la primera compositora mexicana de música clásica", Crónica, de México 
  13. ^ Martí, Pep (14 February 2011), "Un patrimoni que no coneixem", El Triangle, Barcelona, p. 51, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  14. ^ Quirarte, Xavier (22 May 2011), "Rescatan patrimonio musical catalán y latinoamericano", Milenio, de México, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  15. ^ Escoto, Eduardo (24 September 2011), "Luces de musicología iberoamericana", El Informador, Guadalajara, p. 10, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  16. ^ "Interpretarán temas inéditos de Jaime Nunó", El Universal, de México, 24 September 2011, retrieved 10 May 2012 
  17. ^ Cristian Canton y Raquel Tovar (1 October 2011). El legado de los músicos catalanes en México (Web video). Palacio de Bellas Artes, Ciudad de México: Mozaic Editions. 
  18. ^ Entendrà l'ordinador els nostres gestos (Television production) (in Catalan). Spain: UPCTv. 2008. 
  19. ^ Fes del teu somni, el teu futur, TU també (Television production). Spain: Technical University of Catalonia UPCTv. 2009. 
  20. ^ Canton, Cristian; Casas, Josep R.; Pardàs, Montse (October 2011), "Human Motion Capture Using Scalable Body Models", Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Elsevier, 115 (10): 1363–1374, doi:10.1016/j.cviu.2011.06.001 
  21. ^ "Dos grupos de estudiantes de la UPC, en una campaña espacial de la Agencia Espacial Europea". Universitat Politècnica de Cataluña. 29 September 2002. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "Presenten a Sant Joan la biografía de Jaume Nunó", El 9 Nou (in Catalan), Vic, p. 35, 3 December 2010 
  23. ^ "Dial Internacional: Oxford", RAC1 Informatius (in Catalan), Barcelona, 2 August 2011, retrieved 15 May 2012