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Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall
Jordi Savall in 2007
Background information
Birth name Jordi Savall i Bernadet
Born January 14, 1942
Igualada, Catalonia, Spain
Genres Classical, western early music
Occupation(s) Gambist
Instruments Viola da gamba, viola da braccio

Jordi Savall i Bernadet (Catalan: ; born January 14, 1942) is a Spanish conductor, viol player, and composer. He has been one of the major figures in the field of Western early music since the 1970s, largely responsible for reviving the use of viol family instruments (notably the viola da gamba) in contemporary performance and recording. His characteristic repertoire features medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, although he has occasionally ventured into the Classical and even the Romantic periods.


  • Musical education 1
  • Ensembles 2
  • Recordings 3
  • Honours and awards 4
  • Filmography 5
  • In popular culture 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Musical education

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 de 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.


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.

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


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:

In popular culture

  • Savall and his wife are characters in a 2009 work of fiction, Sır (Secret), by Turkish writer Enis Batur. The plot includes a surprise birthday party for Jordi Savall.


  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, [4]
  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

  •, Jordi Savall's official website.
  • Complete discography at
  • The private website Classic @ la carte is devoted primarily to Jordi Savall's works.
  • Misteria Paschalia Festival
  • Zachary Woolfe, Interview, "Jordi Savall's Never-ending Repertory", New York Times, 27 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015
  • [5] at
  • [6] at
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