Jordi Savall is one of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation. For more than 50 years he has introduced musical gems to the world. A tireless researcher in early music, he interprets and performs both as a viola da gamba player and as a conductor. His activities as a performer, teacher, researcher and creator of new musical and cultural projects have made him a leading figure in the reappraisal of historical music. Together with Montserrat Figueras, he founded Hespèrion XXI (1974), La Capella Reial de Catalunya (1987) and Le Concert des Nations (1989), with whom he explores and creates a world of emotion and beauty shared with millions of early music enthusiasts around the world.
With his essential contribution to Alain Corneau’s film Tous les matins du monde, which won a César for best soundtrack, his busy schedule, recordings and own record label, ALIA VOX, which he founded with Montserrat Figueras in 1998, Jordi Savall has not only proved that early music does not have to be elitist, but that it can also appeal to increasingly diverse and numerous audiences. As critic Allan Kozinn wrote in The New York Times in 2005, his vast concert and recording career can be described as ‘not simply a matter of revival, but of imaginative reanimation’.
Jordi Savall has recorded and released more than 230 discs covering the medi-eval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, with a special focus on Hispanic and Mediterranean musical heritage, and he has received many awards and distinctions such as the Midem Classical Award, the International Classical Music Award and the Grammy. His concert programmes have made music an instrument of mediation to achieve understanding and peace between different and sometimes warring peoples and cultures. Accordingly, guest artists appearing with his ensembles include Arab, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Afghan, Mexican and North American musicians. In 2008 Jordi Savall was appointed European Union Ambassador for intercultural dialogue and, together with Montserrat Figueras, was named Artist for Peace under the UNESCO Good Will Ambassadors programme.
He has played a seminal role in the rediscovery and performance of Una cosa rara and Il burbero di buon cuore by Vicente Martín y Soler. He has also conducted Le Concert des Nations and La Capella Reial de Catalunya in performances of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Vivaldi’s Farnace and Il Teuzzone and Fux’s Orfeo ed Euridice.
Jordi Savall’s prolific musical career has brought him the highest national and international distinctions, including honorary doctorates from the universities of Évora, Barcelona, Leuven and Basel, the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in France, the Ministry of Culture and Science of Lower Saxony’s Praetorius Music Prize for international peace, the gold medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the prestigious Léonie Sonning Prize, which is considered the Nobel Prize of the music world.
‘Jordi Savall testifies to a common cultural inheritance of infinite variety. He is a man for our time.’ (The Guardian, 2011)