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Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents Hespèrion XXI and internationally-acclaimed viol player Jordi Savall in a program of ancient and modern Celtic music – May 11 in Boston.

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ARTIST: Hespèrion XXI
Jordi Savall, director

Carlos Núñez, Galician bagpipe, Irish flute & pastoral pipes; Pancho Álvarez, viola capiria & Galician vielle-à-roue; Xurxo Núñez, percussion, tambourins & Galician pandeiros; Jordi Savall, treble viol & lyra viol; Andrew Lawrence-King, Irish harp & psalterium; Frank McGuire, bodhran
WHEN: Friday, May 11, 2018 at 8pm
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
PROGRAM:  Celtic Universe: A dialogue between Ancient, Historical, and Modern traditions

Traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, Galicia, Brittany, and the Basque Country, including works by Turlough O’Carolan and Niel Gow

Tickets for the Boston performance are priced at $25, $45, $55, and $75 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is available by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2017-2018 Season.

For more than 50 years, Jordi Savall has crafted a legacy as one of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation, in performances that marry meticulous research with enthusiastic and engaging musicianship. A favorite of BEMF audiences since our very first concert season, Mr. Savall returns with his legendary ensemble Hespèrion XXI to conclude the 2017–2018 Season with a fascinating journey through Celtic musical traditions.

“My first acquaintance with Celtic music goes back to the late 1970’s, when we visited Kilkenny to give a concert with Hespèrion XX,” writes Savall. “The streets, squares and pubs were teeming with all kinds of musicians … What incredible vitality! It was magical to see so many musicians living their music with that degree of intensity and emotion!”

In Celtic Universe, Savall joins forces with Galician piper Carlos Núñez, harper Andrew Lawrence-King, and a stellar ensemble of collaborators for an exploration of Celtic music across temporal and geographical borders. They survey the wildly varied sounds of the Celts, from well-known Irish standards to the unfamiliar melodies of northern Spain. This expansive selection of tunes includes songs, dances, and laments from Ireland and Scotland, Galicia, and the Basque Country. Celtic Universe is a revelatory appraisal of Celtic culture’s breadth and wealth, delivered by six instrumental masters.

There will a Pre-Concert Talk at 7pm with Jordi Savall.

Founded in 1974 by Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras, Hespèrion XXI is central to the understanding of music between the Middle Ages and the Baroque. Their labors to recover scores, instruments and other documents have incalculable value. Their research provides new understanding of the period, and exquisite performances which enable people to enjoy the aesthetic and spiritual delicacy of the time. With a repertoire that encompasses the 10th through the 18th centuries, Hespèrion XXI searches continuously for new points of union between East and West, with a desire for integration and the recovery of international musical heritage. Thanks to the outstanding work of numerous collaborators, Hespèrion XXI plays a key role in the recovery and reappraisal of the musical heritage, one that has great resonance across the globe. The group has published more than 60 CDs and performs concerts for the whole world, appearing regularly at the great international festivals of ancient music.

For more than 50 years, Jordi Savall, one of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation, has rescued musical gems from obscurity and given them back for all to enjoy. His activities as a performer, conductor, teacher, researcher, and creator of new musical and cultural projects have made him a leading figure in the reappraisal of historical music. Together with Montserrat Figueras, he founded the ensembles Hespèrion XXI (1974), La Capella Reial de Catalunya (1987), and Le Concert des Nations (1989), with whom he explores and creates a world of emotion and beauty shared with millions of early music enthusiasts around the world. Jordi Savall has proved not only that early music does not have to be elitist, but that it can appeal to increasingly diverse and numerous audiences. His vast concert and recording career has been described as “not simply a matter of revival, but of imaginative reanimation” (The New York Times).

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BEMF’s 2017–2018 Season Press Release:

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY-winning and four GRAMMY-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 20th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9-16, 2019, and will feature fully staged performances of Agostino Steffani’s Orlando generoso as the centerpiece opera. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The 2017–2018 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, WGBH Radio Boston, Harpsichord Clearing House, and The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email