Jordi Savall

Con-Savall-150Musician, composer, and conductor Jordi Savall embodies the rich spirit and musical heritage of Catalan culture. As a child, he studied choral music in his native city of Igualada, before moving to Barcelona to study cello at the Barcelona Conservatory of Music. When he heard Pablo Casals perform, who also was a native of Catalan, he was inspired to make music more than a profession; it became his passion.

Jordi Savall finished his studies at the Barcelona Conservatory in 1965 and immediately pursued his intellectual curiosity into the realm of early music. After realizing the modern cello, which he had studied at the conservatory, would not be the most appropriate instrument for the interpretation of early compositions, Savall discovered an almost forgotten instrument: the viola da gamba. In a recent interview with “Ultima Hora” Savall described the viola da gamba as the instrument which is, “the most similar to the human voice in sound and phrasing.” Savall is often recognized for a renaissance of ancient music and interest the viola da gamba..

With his wife, soprano Monserrat Figueras, Savall has created three musical ensembles. Each one is devoted to the performance of a specific type of early music. The couple began “Hesperion XXI,” an ensemble which interprets historically accurate medieval, Renaissance, and baroque music, “La Capella Reial de Catalunya,” which performs Mediterranean music, and “Le Concert des Nations,” which presents Baroque music presented in the French style.

In 1992 his soundtrack for the film "Tous les matins du monde,” a film about French composer Marin Marais, starring Gérard Depardieu, brought him international recognition. Since the film’s release in 1992, his soundtrack has sold more than a million copies.

To date, Savall has made over 100 recordings and has won several prestigious awards. In 2000 he was awarded the “Premi d’Honor Lluis Carulla,” given for service to Catalan culture. The University of Barcelona awarded him the “Doctor Honoris Causa” degree in 2006. He and his wife, Montserrat Figueras, were named “Artists for Peace” by UNESCO in 2008.