By the time he was four years old he was playing the piano by ear; at age seven he began to study music and in 1933 when he won a scholarship to study at the newly founded Conservatory and School of Arts of Cali, directed by Maestro Antonio María Valencia.

In 1950, with a grant from the Colombian government, he travelled to Paris to perform and continue his studies in piano, theory and composition. There he studied at the Conservatoire National, the École César Franck and the École Normale de Musique under the guide of Alfred Cortot and Magda Tagliaferro. In 1952 he became a teacher of sight-reading and transposition in the École César Franck, and for the next four summers (1952–56) he studied in the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, taking courses in composition with Vito Frazziand and film-scoring with Francesco Lavagnino. In 1960, he returned to Colombia and was appointed director of the Conservatory of Music "Antonio Maria Valencia" in Cali. A prolific composer and conductor, he conducted the Symphonic Orchestra of el Valle del Cauca in 1962. Since his retirement he has been piano teacher at the Conservatorium in Cali.