Jordi Savall

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Jordi Savall
Jordi Savall 20070116 Fnac 6.jpg
Jordi Savall in 2007
Background information
Birth name Jordi Savall i Bernadet
Born August 1, 1941
Igualada, Catalonia, Spain
Genres Classical, western early music
Occupation(s) Gambist
Instruments Viola da gamba, viola da braccio

Jordi Savall i Bernadet (Catalan: [ˈʒɔrði səˈβaʎ i βərnəˈðɛt]; born August 1, 1941) is a Catalan Spanish viol player, conductor and composer. He has been one of the major figures in the field of Western early music since the 1970s, largely responsible for bringing instruments of the viol family (most notably the viola da gamba) back to life on the stage. His characteristic repertory emphasizes medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, although he has occasionally ventured into the Classical and even the Romantic periods.

Musical education[edit]

His musical training started at age six in the school choir of his native town (1947–55). After graduating from the Barcelona Conservatory of Music (where he studied from 1959 to 1965) he specialized in early music, collaborating with Ars Musicae Barcelona under Enric Gispert, studying with August Wenzinger at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland (1968–70) and eventually succeeding Wenzinger in 1974 as professor of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.


In 1974 he formed the ensemble Hespèrion XX (known since 2000 as Hespèrion XXI), together with soprano Montserrat Figueras (his wife, who died in 2011), Lorenzo Alpert and Hopkinson Smith. Hespèrion XX favored a style of interpretation characterized simultaneously by great musical vitality and maximum historical accuracy.

In 1987 he returned to Barcelona to found La Capella Reial de Catalunya, a vocal ensemble devoted to pre-eighteenth-century music.

In 1989 he founded Le Concert des Nations, an orchestra generally emphasizing Baroque period, but sometimes also Classical and even Romantic music (e.g., Sinfonía [por] Grande Orquesta by Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga) (1806-1826).

More recently, Savall has performed with family members. The family ensemble has included his late wife Montserrat Figueras and their two children, Arianna and Ferran. Arianna Savall plays the harp and sings, like her mother. Ferran Savall plays the theorbo (bass lute) and sings, not only with his family but also in Barcelona jazz clubs.[1]


Savall's discography includes more than 100 recordings. Originally recording with EMI Classics, and then from 1975 on Michel Bernstein, Astrée label, since 1998 he has recorded on his own label, Alia Vox.[2]

Honours and awards[edit]


Savall adapted and performed music for the 1991 Alain Corneau film Tous les matins du monde about composers Sainte-Colombe and Marin Marais. His work on this film earned him a César award from the French film industry in 1992. The soundtrack has sold more than a million copies worldwide.

He has composed music for the following films:


  1. ^ Alex Ross, "The King of Spain: Jordi Savall at the Metropolitan Museum", The New Yorker (May 2, 2005).
  2. ^ Alia-Vox, "Who We Are", accessed 16 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Montserrat Figueras and Jordi Savall are named 'Artists for Peace'", 18 June 2008, [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ Léonie Sonning Music Foundation official website
  6. ^ Jordi Savall rep les insígnies de Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, prestigiosa distinció que atorga el govern francès

External links[edit]