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Jordi Savall honoured at the Abu Dhabi Festival

Jordi Savall honoured at the Abu Dhabi Festival

Jordi Savall’s artistic excellence was recognised with the Abu Dhabi Festival award on 11 December. This award, a profound testimony of his commitment to the revival and revival of ancient music, was presented by H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Patron of the ADMAF.

This award honours Jordi Savall’s dedication to preserving and disseminating musical heritage, underlining his lasting impact on the world of music and his contribution to cultural dialogue across eras and borders. It is a recognition of his lifelong commitment to research, investigation and dissemination of the musical treasures of the past.

The singers and musicians of La Capella Reial de Catalunya, of Hespèrion XXI, and the soloists from Morocco, Syria and Turkey, conducted by Jordi Savall, captivated the audience at the Abu Dhabi Festival with an interesting evocation of the music of al-Andalus and its influence during the Spanish Renaissance.

This meticulously conceived programme, which embraced five centuries of cultural and historical roots of Arab, Sephardic and Mozarabic Andalusia, thrilled a large and enthusiastic audience who were thrilled from beginning to end, following the interesting historical journey proposed: “From the Medieval Age (Nazari time) to the Golden Age (Felipe II time)”.


Words of gratitude during the award ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Festival

Your Excellencies Sheikn Nahyan Mabarak al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Madame Huda I. Alhamis-Kanoo, ladies, gentlemen, dear friends,

I am very honored to receive this prestigious distinction from the Abu Dhabi Festival, which throughout its history has been awarded to many exceptional artists, many of whom I know and admire.

I receive it in my name, of course, but I would like to share it as well with all the musicians and collaborators who have accompanied me, faithfully and with passion, throughout half a century of dedication to music and intercultural dialogue. This dialogue was already fundamental in that part of southern Europe which the Greeks called “the Hesperides”, the place where one could find golden fruits that were the source of life and eternity. Around the first millennium, this Iberian Peninsula saw the birth of the magnificent civilization of Al Andalus, so well represented by Granada, Seville, and Cordoba which were great centers of art, culture, science, and spirituality. In these places a poetic and musical culture flourished which inspired the art of the great poet-troubadours of Occitania, and which welcomed into its bosom the cultures of Sephardic Jews and Mozarabic Christians. In our concert next Monday, we will pay homage to this rich Andalusian heritage.

We call this historical and musical evocation “a dialogue of souls”, in homage to our dear and admired friend Amin Maalouf, who knew that “if our disoriented humanity is to regain some shred of hope, we must go well beyond a dialogue of cultures and beliefs to engage in a dialogue of souls. At the beginning of the 21st century, that is the indispensable mission of art”. This mission is more essential than ever, now that thousands of human beings – at the risk of their lives – seek help and refuge far from their countries because of wars, poverty, or intolerance. Let us take advantage of the wonderful fact that music is our true common language to give it back the place it deserves in education, culture, and life today.

I cannot finish my words of gratitude and hope without remembering the thousands of innocent human beings who are suffering and dying so close to us. This is why I want to express here all my solidarity with the families of the hostages and the victims of the war in Gaza and Israel. Above all, I want to appeal for humanity and an immediate end to the intolerable and indiscriminate massacre of the civilian population in Gaza.

Jordi Savall,

Abu Dhabi December 9, 2023