Pablo Casals

Pablo Casals (sometimes called his original name Pau Carlos Salvidor
Defillo De Casals) was one of, if not, the greatest cellist in history.
Casals is easily recognized as one of the master soloists of classical
music and he has many accomplishments in his many years as a public figure
that have made him internationally renowned.

Casals was born in Vendrell, Spain on December 29, 1876. He received
his very first music lessons from his father (a music teacher), on the
violin. A four years after that, at the age of twelve, Casals realized he
would much rather play the cello instead, and begin lessons with that

After nine years of study on the playing and the designing of the
instrument at the Madrid Conservatory, Casals decided to improve the sound
of the cello by making important modifications on the techniques of playing
it. For this first accomplishment Casals made, which he thought of simply
as "necessary to my performance", Pablo Casals was widely acclaimed as a
master. He received even more acclaim just after his first performance in
Paris on 1898, this sparked his long and monuments career.

Soon Casals began a great deal of touring across Europe and the
Americas, making his fresh, new style increasingly more and more popular.
Because of his popularity, at the time, the solo cellist performer became a
very highly thought of occupation. After his long tour, Casals met and then
joined up with two other famous and acclaimed French performers. These
were the violinist Jacques Thibaud and the pianist Alfred Cortot.
Together, these three became a trio that gained international fame as they
began touring again for a long period of time.

Casals began his second career as a conductor in 1908. Then in the
year 1919, he founded and he subsidized the "Orquestra Pau Casals" in
Barcelona. This was designed specifically to help young talented, and
struggling musicians.

The next Occupation that casals took was composing. Doing this, he
wrote the famous "El Pesebre" (The Manager), which is still listened to
widely in Spain, even today. Casals wrote and preformed many other pieces
of music that are commonly taught in music school in Spain, today.

Being an ardent opponent of Fascism, Casals exiled himself from Spain.
He did this in a protest against the regime of Frincisco Franco. For a
time, he even stopped performing altogether.

After this long exile, in the 1950\'s Casals began being active in
music again and he organized and ran many series of musical festivals in
France and Puerto Rico. In putting together these performances, Casals
found a certain need inside himself to accept any young talented performer
in to these shows. These performances led up to Casals final performance
in 1960 with the Marlboro Festival in Vermont. Pablo Casals died in Rio
Piedras, Puerto Rico, on October 22, 1973 at the age on ninety-seven.

In my opinion, after reading the information that I could find on
Pablo Casals, I realized what an amazingly distinguished and successful
career as a cellist (he had also been an incredible conductor, composer,
pianist, humanist, and admired public figure), I hope that my dream for an
occupation is even half as successful as his was. He was definitely one of
the most influential men of the early half of the twentieth century.

1. Phillips, S. "Funk and Wagnall\'s New World
Encyclopedia", Running Press, New York 1982

2. James, M. "Conversations with Casals", Grace
Books, New York, 1962