Orchestra conductor (Vienna University), philologist (Barcelona University), Ph.D. in musicology (Universitat autònoma de Barcelona) with a thesis on Gustav Mahler, that the late Raymond Monelle supervised until his death. After a decade devoted exclusively to interpretation, conducting above all opera in Central Europe, he combines since his going back to Catalonia practical musicianship with teaching and research, at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Conservatory), at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.
Joan's main field of research is musical signification, especially those regions on the edge to literature and language: hermeneutic, rhetoric, poetic metres. He teaches analysis, music appreciation and score reduction. As a conductor, his involvement with the Vienna Volksoper(1995-1997) stands out.
Grimalt is a member of the international research group that gathers in International Conferences on Musical Signification around the figures of Prof. Eero Tarasti (University of Helsinki), Márta Grabócz (University of Strasbourg) or Robert Hatten (Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, Austin, Texas). He has presented and published most of his research at the periodical conferences of this group, in Rome (2006), Helsinki (2007, 2010), Kraków (2010), Edinburgh (2012), Strasbourg (2013), Kaunas (2014), London and Canterbury (2016), and Cluj (2018). His books include Com escoltar música (2007), La música sacra: nou audicions i un pròleg (2012), a monography on La música de Gustav Mahler (2012), Escoltant la música del segle XX (2016) and Música i sentits (2014), that is currently in preparation in its English version (Springer).