Jordi Savall is awarded an honorary doctorate by the UIB

The Governing Council has approved the nomination of the prestigious musician for his work in recovering the ancient musical heritage and disseminating the Song of the Sibyl and the figure of Ramon Llull.

The Governing Council of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), meeting in ordinary session on 21 February 2024, has nominated the musician Jordi Savall i Bernadet as doctor honoris causa of the UIB for his cultural merits and links with the Balearic Islands.

The nomination was proposed by the Vice-Rectorate for Cultural Projection and Open University of the UIB in recognition of his extensive international career and, in particular, his links with the culture of the Balearic Islands, the recovery and conservation of the ancient musical heritage and his work in disseminating the Song of the Sibyl and the figure of Ramon Llull.

The University of the Balearic Islands may award the title of doctor honoris causa to those persons it deems worthy of this distinction for their relevance in the field of research or teaching, or for their outstanding knowledge and merits in the scientific, technological, cultural or humanistic fields that have a direct or indirect impact on their teaching and research activities, or on the culture of the Balearic Islands.

The title of doctor honoris causa is the most highly prized recognition by the University of the Balearic Islands of the extraordinary merits of the recipient. It follows that this title must be subject to criteria of maximum rationality, so that the decision can be weighed up and assessed in each case, in order to avoid any kind of haste that could undermine the prestige and social image of the recipient. It is clear, therefore, that the awarding of an honorary doctorate must be based on highly qualified merits, which imposes a selective rigour in determining the kind of merits to be recognised and the people to be rewarded.

Jordi Savall’s prolific musical career has earned him numerous distinctions, including honorary doctorates from the universities of Évora (Portugal), the UB in Barcelona, Katowice (Poland), Leuven (Belgium), Basel (Switzerland) and Utrecht (Netherlands); the insignia of knight of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic, the International Music for Peace Prize of the Ministry of Culture and Science of Lower Saxony, the Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Helena Vaz da Silva Prize, the prestigious Léonie Sonning Prize (considered the Nobel Prize of music); and is an honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

 

Relations with the Balearic Islands

With the aim of recovering ancient music, Jordi Savall has carried out in-depth research into the medieval Song of the Sibyl since 1988. One of the main manuscripts is preserved in a cantorial of the Convent of the Conception in Palma (Diocesan Museum).

The first recorded version of this ancient Mallorcan Song of the Sibyl was recorded by Jordi Savall in 1988 (Astrée E8705). Thanks to the dissemination of Jordi Savall’s recordings through his record label Alia Vox, the versions of the Mallorcan Song of the Sibyl have enjoyed an unprecedented diffusion on an international level. The first recordings were re-released in 1999, and since then the re-releases and performances of this repertoire, now so deeply rooted in Mallorca, have not ceased.

As part of the Year of Llull 2016, Jordi Savall dedicated one of his CD-books to the figure of the Blessed Ramon Llull. The book/CD Ramon Llull (1232-1316), a time of conquests, dialogue and disconsolation, (Alia Vox AVSA9917 [2 CD], 2016) recreates the soundtrack that accompanied Llull’s life, and includes the musical pieces of Muslim Mallorca and the profane music of troubadours and minstrels, as well as the most representative religious and spiritual music of the time. The ensemble recalls the most important moments in Ramon Llull’s life, his travels and the most important historical events of his time. This rich mosaic of music and songs is complemented by some of Llull’s most important texts, taken from the Book of Contemplation, the Life of Master Ramon, the sublime Book of Friend and Beloved, and the Tree of the Philosophy of Love.

As for the performances and other activities carried out in the Balearic Islands, since 2001 Jordi Savall has given 18 concerts in different parts of Mallorca, three in Ibiza and three in Menorca, as well as six master classes.