Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall is an exceptional figure in today's music world. For more than thirty years he has been devoted to the rediscovery of neglected musical treasures: thirty years of research, study and interpretation, both as violist and musical director. He has restored an essential repertoire to all those with ears to hear it. Beyond the happy few who already revered the instrument, he has created a wide audience for the viola da gamba, an instrument so refined that it takes us to the very brink of silence. Together with Montserrat Figueras, he has founded three ensembles Hespèrion XXI, La Capella Reial and Le Concert des Nations; together, they explore and create a world of beauty and emotion which reaches out to millions of music-lovers world-wide and has established them as the leading exponents of so many neglected musical gems. One of the most multifariously gifted musicians of his generation, his career as a concert performer, teacher, researcher and creator of new projects, both musical and cultural, make him one of the principal architects of the current revaluation of historical music. The pivotal part he played in Alain Corneau's film Tous les Matins du Monde (All the Mornings of the World), which won a César award for the best soundtrack, his intense concert activity (140 concerts per year), recording projects (six per year) and more recently the creation of his own record label, Alia Vox, is proof that early music does not have to be elitist or of interest to only to a minority, and that it can and indeed does appeal to an increasingly large and young audience. Like many other musicians, at the age of six Jordi Savall began his musical training as a member of the boys' choir of Igualada (Barcelona), the town where he was born, and later studied the cello at the Barcelona Conservatoire, from which he graduated in 1964. In 1965, he began to teach himself the viola da gamba as well as studying ancient music (Ars Musicae). In 1968 he began his specialist musical training at the renewned Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, where in 1973 he succeeded his own master, August Wenzinger, and continues to give courses and master classes. To this day, he has recorded over 160 CDs. Jordi Savall's numerous awards and distinctions include 'Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' (1988) from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication; the 'Sant Jordi Cross' (1990) awarded by the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) of Catalonia; 'Musician of the Year' (1992), awarded by Le Monde de la Musique; 'Soloist of the Year' (1993) awarded by Victoires de la Musique; the 'Gold Medal for Fine Arts' (1998) from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Arts; Honorary Member of the Konzerthaus, Vienna (1999); Doctor honoris causa of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (2000); 'Victoire de la Musique' in recognition of his professional achievements (2002); the Gold Medal of the Parliament of Catalonia (2003), and the German 'Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik' (2003).