RPS Honorary Membership for Jordi Savall

01 Feb 2022

The renowned viol player, conductor, and champion of historical music Jordi Savall has been made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in recognition of his outstanding services to music.

RPS Honorary Membership was presented to Jordi Savall by James Murphy, RPS Chief Executive, onstage at Wigmore Hall on Tuesday 1 February 2022 as he returned to the UK to perform for the first time since the pandemic began.

Since 1826, the Society has presented Honorary Membership in recognition of those who devote their lives to music, uplifting others in the music they create. It was first presented to the composer Weber and subsequent recipients include Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Clara Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Ravel, Yehudi Menuhin, Janet Baker, Evelyn Glennie, George Benjamin, Marin Alsop, Stephen Sondheim, and most recently Sarah Connolly.

On presenting Jordi with his certificate of Honorary Membership, James said:

‘Jordi, over the years at Wigmore Hall and in concert halls worldwide, you have done so much to transport musical treasures from the distant past – that all too easily could have been lost without your stewardship. You have done so much to protect and preserve the viol, so that we too may hear and be consoled by its uniquely sonorous voice. As we have heard tonight, it is a balm like little else in these disarming, disquieting times.

Both with your instrument, in the glorious vocal and instrumental groups you have founded, and in your many revelatory collaborations and recordings, you have shown us how music of bygone times yet has so much to say to modern ears. In your hands, the reappraisal of historical music never feels academic: the virtuosity and tenderness of your touch makes us almost believe the ink is still freshly wet on works written hundreds of years ago. We are tremendously grateful for all you have done, not only to ensure such music endures, but that it is performed with such vivacity today. In recognition of your achievements, it gives me great pleasure and pride – on behalf of the RPS Board and Council – to present you with Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society.’

On receiving his RPS Honorary Membership certificate, Jordi was met with a standing ovation from the Wigmore Hall audience.

Annually, the RPS welcomes nominations for Honorary Membership from RPS Members and colleagues across the music profession. Recipients are decided upon by the RPS Board of Trustees and advisory Council. A full list of those who have received Honorary Membership from 1826 to the present day can be found here.

Jordi Savall with fellow musicians Xavier Díaz-Latorre (guitar), Andrew Lawrence-King (Spanish baroque harp), and David Mayoral (percussion)