Jordi Savall, © Photo: David Ignaszewski
Jordi Savall, born in 1941 in Barcelona, embodies the spirit of the rich Catalan culture in which he was raised. Inspired by another great Catalan artist, Pablo Casals, whom he heard perform at Prades, the young Jordi Savall realized that music could be more than just a profession – for him, it would become an all-consuming life’s work. He completed his cello studies at the Barcelona Conservatory in 1965, and, seeking to broaden his musical horizons, took an interest in early music.
After determining that his new-found interest could not be well served by the modern cello, he discovered the viola da gamba and the performance practices of an earlier period. Jordi Savall went on to study in Brussels and later attended the Schola Cantorum of Basel, where he studied with August Wenzinger. In 1974, he succeeded Wenzinger in the position of Professor of Viol and Ensemble at the Schola Cantorum. Jordi Savall is widely credited with the rebirth of the viola da gamba and his ongoing musicological research has made him a major force in the revival of early music.