Harpsichordist and pianist, chamber musician, celebrated musicologist, writer, radio and TV presenter, Iosif Sava (1933-1998) educated whole generations of young people in the spirit of art music. With his grave voice and unmistakable vocal expression, he hosted legendary shows, such as Invitaţiile Euterpei [Euterpe’s Invitations], Cronica muzicală [Music Review], Viaţa muzicală în actualitate [Musical Life Now] (on the Romanian Radio) şi Serata muzicală [Musical Evening Gatherings] (on the Romanian Television).
Iosif Sava was born in Iaşi into an old family of Jewish musicians, his great-grandfather one of the first graduates of the Iaşi Conservatory established by Ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza and his grandfather a graduate of the same Conservatory and collaborator of Gavriil Musicescu. Iosif Sava began playing the organ aged 6 and trained in music at prestigious institutions in his native city. In 1951 he moved to Bucharest, where, already working with the Romanian Radio, he studied philosophy and continued at the Bucharest Conservatory (1962-66), becoming member of the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union (1972).
Prolific writer of books – thirty-five of them on music – and articles – he penned over 6,000 pieces – Iosif Sava won, in recognition for his merits, a host of prizes and awards: in addition to the Romanian Academy Award, he was six-time winner of the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union awards as well as four-time winner of the TV Professionals Association Award.
As a token of appreciation, a square close to the National University of Music Bucharest bears Iosif Sava’s name and is decorated with his bust, while the name of the great Romanian musicologist is also loaned to the School of Music and Visual Arts no. 1 in Bucharest.