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  • Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras designated UNESCO Artists for Peace

    17-06-2008 9:00 pm Renowned Spanish viola da gambist, conductor and composer Jordi Savall and soprano Montserrat Figueras were designated UNESCO Artists for Peace by the Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, in a ceremony at Organization Headquarters on 17 June in the presence of Ambassador Maria Jesús San Segundo, Spain’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.Savall-&-Figueras.jpg

    Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras received this distinction “for their outstanding musical commitment to intercultural dialogue and their contribution to furthering the Organization’s ideals.”

    Born in Igualada (Barcelona) in 1941, Jordi Savall began his musical career at the age of 6 when he joined his school’s chapel choir before studying the cello at the Barcelona Conservatory. Having discovered the music of Marin Marais, the 17th century French viola da gamba composer, inspired him to attend the early music academy Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland) from which he graduated in 1968.

    Since 1974, he has created three music ensembles, Hesperion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations with which he performs in major early music festivals all over the world. He has also conducted various other orchestras including the Wiener Kammerorchester and the San Francisco Baroque Philharmonic and written scores for several films, notably Tous les matins du monde by French director Alain Corneau for which he received a ‘césar,’ the French cinema distinction.

    Montserrat Figueras was born in 1948 in Barcelona, where she studied singing and acting. At a very early age, Montserrat Figueras gave her first concert with the Catalan Early Music ensemble, Ars Musicae. In 1968, she left for Basle and studied early and modern music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She worked under Swiss baritone Kurt Widmer and the US medieval music expert Thomas Binkley and developed a very personal and distinctive approach to interpreting early vocal music. With her husband, Jordi Savall, she founded Hesperion XXI. She is also a member of La Capella Reial.

    Following the ceremony, Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras concluded with a concert.

  • UNESCO Artists for Peace

    Photo (© Dou Matar, from left to right): HE Mrs Maria Jesús San Segundo, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, Mrs Montserrat Figueras and Mr Jordi Savall, UNESCO Artists for Peace, and Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO Director-General, during the designation ceremony at Organization Headquarters on 17 June.

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    Updated:02-07-2008 3:45 pm