As a child, Ardévol studied under his father, Fernando, who was a musician and conductor. He emigrated to Cuba in 1930, and from 1934 to 1952 was the director of the Orquestra de cámara de la Habana. He was a professor in Cuba from 1936 to 1951, teaching in universities in Havana and Oriente. In 1942 he founded a movement called Grupo de renovación musical, which included several of his students devoted to his aesthetic ideals. Ardévol supported the Cuban Revolution and was appointed head musical administrator after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. As part of his duties, he conducted the orchestra of the government's Ministry of Education. He continued teaching, working as a professor of composition at Havana Conservatory from 1965 and at the National School of Music from 1968.
Ardévol's early compositions fall generally into the style of neoclassicism, but later in his life he began to explore the techniques of aleatory music and serialism. Some of his vocal works praise communism and address other political/revolutionary topics.
Note:this list is incomplete.
- 3 symphonies
- 2 Cuban suites for orchestra
- Forma, ballet, 1942
- La burla de Don Pedro a caballo, for soloists, chorus and orchestra, 1943
- Cantos de la Revolución, vocal work, 1962
- Che comandante, cantata, 1968
- Lenin, vocal work, 1970
- 6 Sonate a 3, chamber work
- 3 piano sonatas
- Tensiones, for piano left hand
1933 – "Study in the form of Prelude and Fugue" for percussion ensemble 1934 – "Suite" for percussion ensemble 1942 – "Preludio a 11" for percussion ensemble
- Don Randel. The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music. Harvard, 1996, p. 24.