For more than forty years, Jordi Savall, one of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation, has rescued musical gems from the obscurity of neglect and oblivion and given them back for all to enjoy. A tireless researcher into early music, he interprets and performs the repertory both as a violist and a conductor. His activities as a concert performer, teacher, researcher and creator of new musical and cultural projects have made him a leading figure in the reappraisal of historical music. Together with Montserrat Figueras, he founded the ensembles Hespèrion XXI (1974), La Capella Reial de Catalunya (1987) and Le Concert des Nations (1989), with whom he explores and creates a world of emotion and beauty shared with millions of early music enthusiasts around the world. The Guardian (2011) described him in the following terms: “what really marks him out are his wanderings beyond the temple of high culture. An omnivorous troubadour, he roves from Manchester libraries to Colombian villages to salvage musical traditions – with recordings that move from Berber beats to the raptures of a raga, from the thrilling stillness of an Armenian lament to the sprightliness of an Elizabethan galliard.”

Through his essential contribution to Alain Corneau’s film Tous les Matins du Monde, which won a César for the best soundtrack, his busy concert schedule (140 concerts per year), his recordings (6 albums per year) and his own record label, ALIA VOX, which he founded with Montserrat Figueras in 1998, Jordi Savall has proved not only that early music does not have to be elitist, but that it can appeal to increasingly diverse and numerous audiences of all ages. As the critic Allan Kozinn wrote in The New York Times (2005), his vast concert and recording career can be described as “not simply a matter of revival, but of imaginative reanimation.”

After finishing his cello studies at the Barcelona Conservatoire in 1964, in 1965 he embarked on teaching himself the viola da gamba and performing early music with the group Ars Musicae. In 1968 he moved to Switzerland to further his music studies at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis, where he taught and gave master classes until 1993. He is currently visiting professor at the Juilliard School in New York. He has recorded and released over 200 albums covering the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical music repertories, with a special focus on the Hispanic and Mediterranean musical heritage, winning many awards and distinctions, including the Midem Classical Award, the International Classical Music Award and the Grammy.

Jordi Savall has described music as “one of the most universal means of expression and communication,” adding that “the measure of its importance and significance cannot be gauged according to the criteria of evolution in musical language, but rather according to its degree of expressive intensity, inner richness and humanity.” His concert programmes have made music an instrument of mediation to achieve understanding and peace between different and sometimes warring peoples and cultures. Accordingly, guest artists appearing with his ensembles include Arab, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Afghan, Mexican and North American musicians. In 2008 Jordi Savall was appointed European Union Ambassador for intercultural dialogue and, together with Montserrat Figueras, was named “Artist for Peace” under the UNESCO “Good Will Ambassadors” programme.

His artistic career has been regarded as one of the driving forces behind the revival of early music from Europe, the New World and the Mediterranean, as well as a major landmark in the study, performance, conducting and rapprochement of diverse musical traditions in a far-reaching intercultural dialogue that transcends all borders. His prolific musical career has brought him the highest national and international distinctions, including honorary doctorates from the Universities of Evora (Portugal), Barcelona (Catalunya), Louvain (Belgium) and Basel (Switzerland), the order of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France), the 2010 Praetorius Music Prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of Lower Saxony, the Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the prestigious Léonie Sonning Prize, which is considered the Nobel prize of the music world. In 2022, has been distinguished to be part of the Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society. “Jordi Savall testifies to a common cultural inheritance of infinite variety. He is a man for our time” (The Guardian, 2011).

    • Distinguished as Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society (2022).
    • Helpmann Award (2018) for best instrumental ensemble concert category during the Perth Festival (Australia). The tour presented “Folias Antiguas & Criollas” with both Hesperion XXI and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo.
    • Pau Casals Award by the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) 2017.
    • Ciutat de Barcelona Award by the Barcelona City Council for his work in raising awareness of the refugee crisis and international concerts (2017).
    • Jurica Murai award for Best Performance for a Viol recital in Croatia September 24th 2016.
    • Honoris Causa doctor University of Utrech (2016).
    • Gold medal Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid (2015).
    • Gold medal for Cultural achievement of Barcelona Town hall (2015).
    • Helena Vaz da Silva European Award (2015) for Raising Public Awareness on Cultural Heritage.
    • Helpmann Awards 2014 for the concert Jersualem: City of two Peaces at Melbourne Recital Center and Sydney Opera House (Australia)  in recognition of the value of musical performance spanning a history of more than 3000 years.
    • Gold medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya (2014).
    • Atlàntida award by Gremi d’editors de Catalunya (2013).
    • Honoris Causa doctor University of Basel (2013).
    • Helpmann Awards 2013 for his recital with Andrew Lawrence-king at Melbourne Recital Center (Australia).
    • York Early Music Festival Lifetime achievement award (2012)
    • Léonie Sonning Music Prize awarded by the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation of Denmark (2012).
    • Commandeur dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres and Chevalier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur of the French Republic (2011) (Speech by Frédéric Mitterrand / read more).
    • Grammy Award Best Small ensemble performance for Dinastia Borgia (2011) and International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) for Dinastia Borgia category “Early Music” (2011).
    • Best Performer of classical Music Real Academia del las Artes y las Ciencias (2011).
    • Best Performer of classical Music Real Academia del las Artes y las Ciencias (2010).
    • Praetorius Musikpreis Niedersachsen 2010 form the Culture Ministery of Lower Saxony “Internationaler Friedensmusikpreis” -Musician for Peace.
    • International Unescocat together with Montserrat Figueras (2009).
    • Prix Méditerranée awarded by the Centre Méditerranéen de Littérature in Perpignan together with Montserrat Figueras (2009).
    • National Music Award by the Catalan National Council of Culture and Arts CONCA (2009).
    • Händelpreis der Stadt Halle award in Germany (2009).
    • European Union creativity and innovation ambassador (2009)
    • European Union cultural dialogue ambassador and Artist for Peace together with Montserrat Figueras.
    • Honoris Causa Doctor University of Èvora (2007).
    • Honoris Causa Doctor University of Barcelona (2006).
    • Catalan Parliament Gold Medal (2003).
    • Victoire de la Musique (2002).
    • Honoris Causa Doctor Université Catholique de Louvain (2002).
    • Honorary member of the Weiner Konzerhaus (1999).
    • Medalla de Oro de las Bellas Artes (Gold Medal of Fine Arts) by the Spanish ministery of Culture and Education (1998).
    • Solise de l’Année at the 8th Victoires de la Musique (1993)
    • Musician of the Year by Le Monde de la Musique (1992)
    • César best soundtrack for Tous Les Matins du Monde (1992)
    • Saint George’s Cross by the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat) (1990)
    • Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by French Ministery of Culture (1988)

His recorded works, more than 200 on a number of labels such as EMI, ASTREE/AUVIDIS and ALIA VOX, have also received numerous awards, notable amongst which are:

  • The CD-book Guerre et Paix 1614-1715 won the International Classical Music Awards 2016 (ICMA) in the “Best Collection” category (read more)
  • The CD-book Bal-Kan. Honey and Blood, Cycles of Life won the International Classical Music Awards 2015 (ICMA) in the “Early Music”category (read more).
  • The CD-book Erasmus van Rotterdam: In praise of Folly won the International Classical Music Awards 2014 (ICMA) in the “Early Music”category (read more)
  • The CD J. Ph. Rameau: L’Orchestre de Louis XV won the International Classical Music Awards 2012 (ICMA) in the Baroque Instrumental category (read more).
  • The book/audio CD Dinastia Borgia won a Grammy Award 2012 in the category of Best Small Ensemble Performance and the International Classical Music Awards 2011 (ICMA) in the Early Music Category (read more)
  • The book/audio CD Jérusalem. La Ville des deux Paix: La Paix céleste et la Paix terrestre (Jerusalem, the city of the two peaces: heavenly peace and terrestrial peace) was awarded the Premi Orphée d’Or by the Académie du disque lyrique 2008 and the 2008 Caecilia Prize, awarded by the Belgian press, for the best recording of the year as well as the 2010 Midem Classical Award.
  • In 2008, the book/audio Christophorus Columbus. Paraísos perdidos was awarded the Midem Classical Awards Ancient Music Prize.
  • The book/audio Don Quijote de la Mancha: Romances y Músicas was awarded the Midem Classical Award in the Ancient Music category, and was also chosen “Disc of the year 2006”. This disc was also one of the five nominated for the 2006 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles (USA).
  • In 2003 he received the German critics’ Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Prize.
  • Fondazione Giorgio Cini Prize, Venice (1995)
  • César” for the best theme music for the film, Tous les Matins du monde (1992)
  • Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque (1992)
  • Prix de l’Académie du Disque Lyrique (1990).
  • Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros (1989 and 1993).
  • Grand Prix de l’Académie du Disque Français (1988 – 1989).