Rachid Safir had a vision to create an ensemble capable of covering the whole repertoire
of vocal polyphony from the Renaissance up to the present. This dream became a reality in
1988 when he created the Solistes XXI, a group composed of professional singers from
different stylistic backgrounds. Solistes XXI's activities have been guided by two main
principles: to explore works from different periods that will enhance each other in
performance; and to facilitate great freedom of individual musical expression. The latter
principle requires precise listening skills, and has produced lasting collaborations
between singers and composers.
In the course of more than 20 years of existence, Solistes XXI has performed countless
world premieres, as well as numerous concerts of ancient and contemporary music repertoire
throughout France. The ensemble has also performed at Festival d'automne à Paris, Festival
Musica in Strasbourg, Salzburger Festspiele, Holland Festival, and La Biennale di
The press and numerous composers who have written for the Solistes XXI are unanimous in
praising this group as a precious instrument in the service of vocal art.
Through his various musical activities, Rachid Safir has sought to interpret solo vocal
music from all periods, ranging from Pérotin to Ferneyhough, Dufay to Schubert. As a
singer, Mr. Safir has been a member of several celebrated ensembles, including the Groupe
Vocal de France, Studio der frühen Musik, and Clemencic Consort. In 1978, he founded A Sei
Voci, an ensemble that he sang with for more than 10 years. Several recordings on which he
performed have been honored with high distinctions and awards.
Mr. Safir has taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Lyon and at the Paris
Conservatoire. A chorus master since 1970, he created the Solistes XXI vocal ensemble in
1988 with the mission of combining polyphonic and solo repertoire for young professional