Derived from „hespera“, the Greek word for „west“, is „Hesperia“, the ancient name for the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in the westernmost part of Europe.
Inspired by the musical wealth of Hesperia, a group of virtuoso performers, including gambist Jordi Savall and soprano Montserrat Figueras, founded the ensemble in 1974. Their goal was to explore the vast repertoire of Western European music – Spanish music in particular – written before the 19th century.
Such a wide repertoire requires not only a high level of instrumental and vocal virtuosity, but also a thorough knowledge of many styles and periods. Consequently, based on the requirements of each program, the core members of Hesperion XXI invite musical specialists of international stature to join them in performance.