Oscar Esplá y Triay was a self-taught composer, the son of passionately musical parents, who studied in Alicante, Barcelona, Meinigen with Max Reger, and Paris with Camille Saint Saëns. In 1911 he won the Great Vienna Prize for composition with his symphonic poem El sueño de Eros.
After 1921 he settled in Madrid and dedicated his life to composition with brief incursions into teaching and music criticism. During the Spanish Civil War he moved to Brussels provisionally and returned in 1951. The composer of a large catalogue, he is considered the creator of the Spanish Levantine song to which he dedicated a large part of his efforts. The distinguished musicologist Adolfo Salazar considered Esplá the strongest, most versatile and profound of the contemporary Spanish musicians.