Sydney – Thursday 14 September, 2017 – Grammy Award-winning “early music superstar” Jordi Savall and two of his favourite ensembles, Hespèrion XXI and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo, will tour Australia early next year with a jaw-droppingly ambitious program of early and contemporary Latin music from the ages.
Multi-instrumentalist, virtuoso, conductor, scholar, teacher and record label director, Jordi Savall defies categorisation. In a career spanning five decades he has produced 230 discs, with a focus on medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. That career has however been characterized by a continual blurring of borders - between genres, past and present, east and west – all the while keeping Savall’s Spanish/Catalan roots at the heart of his music.
The program, FOLÍAS ANTIGUAS & CRIOLLAS, from the Ancient World to the New World, which spans music from the late Renaissance to popular music that survives today, will be performed at Perth International Arts Festival (17 February), Melbourne Recital Centre (21 February), Sydney Opera House (25 February) and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (26 February). Savall will also perform different programs with smaller ensembles at Perth International Arts Festival on 18 February (details to be announced on 9 November) and Melbourne Recital Centre on 22 February.
In 2014, Australian audiences were thrilled to witness Savall’s Helpmann Award-winning The Jerusalem Project. In 2018, two ensembles – from the old world and the new – combine in a rich interweaving of musical cultures. Savall returns with some of the principal members of Hespèrion XXI, an international early music ensemble formed in Basel, Switzerland in 1974; the Grammy-winning harpist Andrew Lawrence-King (UK) and the renowned guitar player Xavier Diaz-Latorre (SPN). Also collaborating for this program are Mexico’s Tembembe Ensamble Continuo who are dedicated to exploring and recreating the musical connections between the Hispanic Baroque period and traditional music from Mexico and Latin America. In Melbourne (22 February), Savall and an intimate Hespèrion XXI ensemble perform the exquisite ‘greatest hits’ of 16th- and 17th-century Spanish, French and English music for the viola da gamba and continuo.
In 2008, Savall was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace for outstanding musical commitment to intercultural dialogue.
Jordi Savall says “These old and new Creole folias transport us back in time. These musical forms evolved after the “discovery” of the Americas. Gold wasn’t the only thing that Spain took from the Americas – it also brought the lively dance rhythms of Indigenous, African and Creole music back to Europe. With new variations, played on early instruments with passion and energy - we create a world of emotion and beauty that we can’t wait to share with Australia this summer.”
Sydney Opera House Director, Performing Arts, Kate Dundas says, “Australian audiences will love the extravagance and nuance of Jordi Savall performing with more than a dozen musicians and dancers. This is sure to be an inspiring tour with concerts in some of the country’s best performing arts venues.”
Perth Festival Classical Music Program Associate Yarmila Alfonzetti says, “It was through the deft touch and masterful execution of Jordi Savall that I learnt to love the music of the pre-Baroque. Jordi is a musician’s musician; someone whose dedication to the study and manifestation of hidden treasures has inspired a whole generation of artists to do more than simply perform. They must interpret, investigate, and become storytellers. I know audiences will, as I have, be drawn to this new way of listening which is full of delicacy and intrigue.”