When Jordi Savall graduated from the Barcelona Conservatory of Music in 1965, performances of music predating Mozart or Haydn were few and far between.

After mastering the all-but-forgotten viola da gamba, the Catalan-Spanish musician-conductor went on to become a pillar of the period-instrument movement and helped spur the rediscovery of dozens of lost composers from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Now 78 and still revered in the world of early music, Savall will bring two of his longtime ensembles to Orchestra Hall as part of a Symphony Center Presents Special Concert on Feb. 9. 

Featured will be Hespèrion XXI, a period-instrument ensemble that Savall founded in 1974 with his late wife, soprano Montserrat Figueras, and two other musicians, and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, a vocal ensemble established by Savall in 1987 to focus on music before the 19th century. In all, the program will include four singers and seven instrumentalists, performing on such instruments as the viola da gamba, harp and guitar.

The program is titled “Splendor of the Iberian Baroque” and will focus on Spanish songs and instrumental works from about 1580 to 1750. “You have remember how beautiful and rich the art is during this time in Spain, with painters like El Greco and Velasquez and [great] writers,” he said.

“This is a real golden age of Spanish culture, and I think the music is little less known. In certain ways, the music of Europe was developed mostly in central Europe — Germany, France and Italy — and Spain is a little behind in the rediscovery of its musical heritage.”

Featured will be works of this era by composers Juan Blas de Castro, Pedro Guerrero, Juan Hidalgo, Mateo Romero and Juan Garcia de Zéspedes, as well as a few who remain anonymous. “This is really a very exuberant period with beautiful combination of text and music,” Savall said.

About Jordi Savall in Chicago

With an ensemble of period instruments, Jordi Savall brings to Symphony Center a rich program of rediscovered baroque gems from the Iberian Peninsula. 

Date: Sunday, February 9, 2020 4:00 PM

Venue: Orchestra Hall



About Latino Alliance

The CSO Latino Alliance is a liaison and partner that connects the CSO with Chicago’s diverse community by creating awareness, sharing insights and building relationships for generations to come. 

The group encourages individuals and their families to discover and experience timeless music with other enthusiasts in concerts, receptions and educational events

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