Jordi Savall in 2007
|Birth name||Jordi Savall i Bernadet|
Igualada, Catalonia, Spain
|Genres||Classical, western early music|
|Instruments||Viola da gamba, viola da braccio|
Jordi Savall i Bernadet (Catalan: [ˈʒɔrði səˈβaʎ i βərnəˈðɛt]; born August 1,1941) is a Spanish viol player, conductor and composer from Catalonia. 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.
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 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).
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.
Honours and awards
In 2000 Savall was awarded the Premi d'Honor Lluís Carulla, given for service to Catalan culture or for scientific, cultural or civic works in the Catalan language.
In February 2009 he received the Handel Music Prize from the city of Halle, Germany, and the National Music Prize from the National Council of Music and Arts of Catalonia. In 2010 he was honored with the Praetorius Musikpreis Niedersachsen, and a MIDEM Classical Award for his album "Jerusalem – la ville des deux Paix: La paix céleste et la paix terrestre."
In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel.
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:
- (1991) Tous les matins du monde (All the Mornings of the World) by Alain Corneau
- (1993) El Pajaro de la felicidad (The Bird of Happiness) by Pilar Miró
- (1993) Joan the Maiden, Part 1: The Battles by Jacques Rivette
- (1994) Joan the Maiden, Part 2: The Prisons by Jacques Rivette
- (1997) Hosszú alkony (i.e. Long Dusk) by Attila Janisch
- (1997) Marquise by Vera Belmont
- (1998) Top Secret by Jacques Rivette
- Alex Ross, "The King of Spain: Jordi Savall at the Metropolitan Museum", The New Yorker (May 2, 2005).
- Alia-Vox, "Who We Are" http://alia-vox.com/aliavox.php#rao, accessed 16 December 2008.
- "Montserrat Figueras and Jordi Savall are named 'Artists for Peace'", 18 June 2008, 
- Léonie Sonning Music Foundation official website
- Jordi Savall rep les insígnies de Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, prestigiosa distinció que atorga el govern francès
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jordi Savall.|
- Alia-vox.com, Jordi Savall's official website.
- Complete discography at Medieval.org
- The private website Classic @ la carte is devoted primarily to Jordi Savall's works.
- Misteria Paschalia Festival