JORDI SAVALL is an exceptional figure in today’s music world. For more than 30 years he has been devoted to the rediscovery of abandoned musical treasures: 30 years of research, reading, and playing them with his viola da gamba or conducting their performance. He has restored an essential repertoire, which he revives for music lovers around the world.
With his three ensembles – Hespèrion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and Le Concert des Nations, all founded together with Montserrat Figueras – Savall has explored and fashioned a universe full of emotion and beauty, projecting it to the world and millions of music lovers, introducing the viola da gamba and music that had fallen into oblivion, and becoming one of the most important protectors of early music.
Jordi Savall is one of the most multivalent musicians of his generation. His career as a concert performer, teacher, researcher, and creator of new musical and cultural projects makes him one of the principal architects of the current revaluation of historical music. With his key contribution to Alain Corneau’s film Tous les Matins du Monde (winner of a César best-soundtrack award); his busy concert life (over 140 concerts a year) and recording schedule (6 recordings per year); and with the creation of his own record label, Alia Vox, he demonstrates that early music does not have to be elitist; it can be very interesting for a public, ever younger and more numerous.
Like so many other musicians, Jordi Savall began his music studies at a very young age. He began as a singer in the Children’s Choir in Igualada (Catalonia), his hometown, and then he went on to learn the cello, completing his studies in the Barcelona Conservatory (1964). He started, as an autodidact, to study the viola da gamba and early music (Ars Musicae) in 1965, moving on to advanced studies in 1968 at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland). There he succeeded his teacher August Wenzinger in 1973, and he has since been teaching courses and master classes.
He has recorded over 170 CDs and has won many awards, among them: “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” (1988); the “Creu de Sant Jordi” (1990); “Musician of the Year” from Le Monde de la Musique (1992) and “Soloist of the Year” in the “Victoires de la Musique” (1993); “La Medalla de Oro de las Bellas Artes” (1998); “Honorary Member of the Konzerthaus” in Vienna (1999); Doctor Honoris Causa by the Université Catholique de Louvain (2000), the Universitat de Barcelona (2006), and the Universidad d’Évora (2007); “Victoire de la Musique” for his professional career (2002); the “Medalla d’Or” of the Parliament of Catalonia (2003); and the Honorary Prize of the “Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” (2003). He has also won various MIDEM Classical Awards (1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008). In the 2006 Awards, his double CD, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Romances y Músicas won him a prize in the Early Music category, and it was also selected as their 2006 Record of the Year. That double CD was among the five nominees for the 2006 Grammy awards in Los Angeles. In 2008, the CD Cristophorus Columbus – Paraísos perdidos received the Early Music Prize from the MIDEM Classical Awards.
One of his most recent recordings, the book-CD Jérusalem, La Ville des deux Paix: La Paix céleste et la Paix terrestre, has been acclaimed by the national and international press, and it has been awarded the 2008 “Orphée d’Or de l’académie du disque lyrique” and the “Caecilia 2008” as the best CD of the year. The book-CD’s most recent prize is the 2010 MIDEM Classical Award.
Jordi Savall was awarded the “Händelpreis der Stadt Halle 2009” and he received the 2009 National Prize of Music, given by the National Council of Culture and Arts from the Catalan Government.
In 2008 Jordi Savall was appointed an “Artist for the Peace” for the goodwill ambassador’s program of UNESCO. In 2009 he was appointed once again as the Ambassador of the European Year of creativity and innovation by the European Union.