JORDI SAVALL, VIOLA DA GAMBA
Jordi Savall is an exceptional figure in today’s music world. 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. His task, which has earned him world renown and which is always brimming with live emotion and spectacular creative vitality, is one in which he has always sought to be faithful to historical music, which is to say the reappraisal of the value of repertoires as specific and
as universal as the music of Europe, the Mediterranean and of the whole world.
Jordi Savall began his musical studies when he was six years old 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). In 1965 he started, as an autodicact, to study the viola da gamba and early music (Ars Musicae) in 1965, so he moved on to start advanced studies in 1968 at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland). There he succeeded his teacher August Wenzinger in 1973, and was teaching for some time many courses and master classes. With his three ensembles Hespèrion XXI (1974), La Capella Reial de Catalunya (1987) and Le Concert des Nations (1989), all founded together with Montserrat Figueras. Jordi Savall has explored and fashioned universe full of emotions and beauty, and has projected it to the world and to millions of music lovers, to introduce the viola da gamba and the music which had fallen into oblivion, becoming one of the most important protectors of the early 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 a year), and with the creation of his own record label Alia Vox (1998), he demonstrates that the early music does not have to be necessary elitist, so it can be very interesting for a public each time younger and more numerous.
Notable in his operatic repertoire are his participation in the rediscovery of Una cosa rara (performed in 1991) and Il burbero di buon cuore (performed in 1995 and 2012) by Vicent Martín i Soler. In 1993 he presented Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo for the first time at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, (in 2002 it was recorded by the BBC-Opus Arte and published on DVD). He has also conducted Farnace by Vivaldi at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid (2001), Bordeaux (2003), Vienna (2005), Paris (2007) and published on CD by Alia Vox. He has also conducted J. J. Fux’s Orfeo ed Euridice, performed at the Styriarte Festival in Graz in 2010, and Vivaldi’s Il Teuzzone performed in 2011 in a semi-concert version at the Opéra Royal de Versailles.
His more than 40 years devoted to the recovery of musical heritage have earned him many distinctions.
His recorded works, more than a hundred on a number of labels such as EMI, ASTREE/AUVIDIS and ALIA VOX, have also received numerous awards.