Casals, Pablo

Pablo Casals was born Pau Carlos Salvador Defillo de Casals, born in Vendrell, Spain, on 29 December 1876. Despite his birthplace and subsequent stay for a time in France, his mother was from Puerto Rico; the country where he returned for a good portion of his life and where he died in 1973.

Casals is considered the greatest 20th-century master of the cello and a distinguished composer, conductor, pianist and humanitarian. He revolutionized the role of the cello by the virtuosity of his technique and his indisputable musicality. Casals gained an international reputation for brilliant expressive technique that remains unsurpassed. His superb interpretations of the Bach unaccompanied cello suites brought him worldwide adulation such as this example of the Gigue from Cello Suite number 1 (BWV 1007).

He received his first musical instruction from his father but his mother was equally commited and involved in the young Casals’ music training. She arranged various scholarships that were crucial to developing his nascent talent. One of the scholarships was at the Madrid Conservatory where he studied between 1893 and 1896, and another at the Brussels Conservatory in 1896, considered the among best institutions for training in stringed instruments.

After making his debut as a cello soloist at the Concerts Lamoureux in Paris in 1898, he toured Europe, the United States, and South America.

In 1905 he formed a chamber trio with Jacques Thibaud (1880-1953) and Alfred Cortot. The trio performed to international acclaim with interpretations that are models for study.

In 1919 he began his career as a conductor; founding the Orquesta Pau Casals in Barcelona (1920), which, with Casals as conductor, became an important cultural organization in Catalonia until 1936, when the Spanish Civil War interrupted its activities.

After the overthrow of the Republican government in Spain, Casals took up residence in Prades, in Southern France. It was a voluntary exile in protest against the Spanish government. In 1950 he began to conduct annual music festivals in Prades, commemorating Bach.

In 1956 he moved to Puerto Rico, where the following year he inaugurated annual music festivals celebrated in June in San Juan. In later years Casals passed the baton to Polish conductor Krzysztof Penderecki. The festival is arguably one of the most important annual music events in Latin America, attracting such internationally known artists as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Rubinstein, Mstislav Rostropóvich, Andrés Segovia, J.P. Rampal and Zubin Mehta.

That same year (1957), he married his third wife, his Puerto Rican student Martita Montañes.

In 1958, Casals also helped found the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the Conservatory of Music, the year following.

He performed at the United Nations (1958). To promote world peace, Casals composed the oratorio El pesebre (The Manger, 1960), the Hymn of the United Nations, which he conducted throughout the world. He had also performed at the United States’ White House in 1961, and conducted a celebrated concert of some 80 cellists at Lincoln Center (1972).

In 1989 the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences recognized Casals with a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


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The Casals Collection (Box Set) [BOX SET] (2002)

The Casals Festivals Vol. 4: Perpignan 1951 (2002)

The Casals Festivals Vol. 3: Perpignan 1951 (2002)

The Casals Festivals Vol. 2: Perpignan 1951 (2002)

Casals Plays Boccherini & Baroque (2002)

Beethoven: Archduke Trio; Kreutzer Sonata; Magic Flute Variations (2002)

Eastertide (2002)

Elgar: Cello Concerto; Bruch: Kol Nidrei; Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 2 (2002)

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 14 & 27; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (2002)

Mendelssohn & Schumann: Trios in D minor (2002)

Thibaud; Casals & Cortot Perform Haydn; Beethoven & Schubert (2002)

Casals: My First Record (2001)

Franz Schubert Chamber Music [4 CD Set] (2001)

Dvorak: Concerto for cello in Bm; Brahms: Concerto in Am Op102 (2001)

Easter at Canterbury (2001)

Pablo Casals Plays Dvorák (2001)

Ginastera: Estancia Op8; Concerto for harp Op25 (2001)

The Kennedy White House Concerts (2001)

Great Moments in Cello Playing (2001)

Beethoven: Cello Sonatas [Arkadia] (2001)

Beethoven: Sonatas for Cello and Piano (2001)

Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1-6 (2001)

Brahms: Double Concerto; Dvorak: Cello Concerto (2001)

Casals: Dvorak Cello Concerto - Brahms Double Concerto (2001)

Casals: El Pessebre (2000)

Dvorák: Cello Concerto - Symphony No.9 (2000)

Crossroads (2000)

Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1-6 [Naxos] (2000)

Elgar: Cello Concerto - Violin Concerto (2000)

The Essential J.S. Bach (2000)

Pablo Casals Portrait (2000)

Images of Christ (2000)

Pachelbel's Canon & Other Classics for Relaxation (2000)

Vivaldi - Tartini - Boccherini - Bach (2000)

Ave Ave: 20th Century Music for Women's Voices (2000)

Glenn Gould At The Movies (1999)

Great Conductors Vol. 2 (1999)

Great Recordings of the Century (1999)

Jouluna Jumala Syntyi (1999)

Music for Cello and Piano (1999)

The Legendary Casals (1999)

Mariko Anraku (1999)

Sacred Feast (1999)

Pablo Casals [2 CD Set] (1999)

Unforgettable Classics: Cello (1999)

Virtuosi Of The Bow - Bach: 6 Cello Suites / Casals [2 CD Set] (1999)

Pablo Casals: The Best of the Acoustic & Electric Recordings (1999)

A Baroque Festival (1999)

Casals Trio: Beethoven; Schubert; Mendelssohn; Schumann (1999)

Bach: Suite for cello solo No 1 (1999)

Estrellita: Canciones Latinas (1999)

Beethoven Faure and Haydn (1999)

Beethoven: The Complete Cello Sonatas (1999)

Bruch: Concerto for violin in Gm; Scottish Fantasy Op46 (1999)

Pablo Casals Recordings 1915-28 [2 CD Set] (1999)

Fauré: Complete Works For Cello And Piano (1999)

The Schumann Recordings (1927-1937) (1998)

Spanish Cello Rhapsody (1998)

Spirits Of Fire (1998)

Salve Regina


Dvorak: Concerto for cello in Bm; Brahms: Concerto in Am Op102 (1997)

Concertos by Elgar - Boccherini - Haydn (1997)

Brahms and Dvorak: Cello Works (1997)

Brahms-Elgar-Bruch-Casals (1997)

Cassado (1997)

Centenary Edition 1928-1937 Vol 4 (1997)

Centenary Edition 1938-1947 Vol 5 (1997)

Magic Talent - George Szell (1997)

A Baroque Festival: Cello Works (1997)

Mendelssohn: Trio No1; Mozart: Quartet No1 (1997)

Music for Bass Clarinet & Piano (1997)

Bruch: Kol Nidrei Op47; Brahms: Concerto in Am Op102 (1997)

O Come Let Us Sing (1997)

Our Turn (1997)

Pablo Casals Plays.. Magic Talent (1997)

Pablo Casals: The Complete Acoustic Recordings Vol 3: 1920-25 (1997)

Pablo Casals: The Complete Acoustic Recordings Vol.1


Salut D'Amour (1997)

Schubert - Auber - Mendelssohn and others [BOX SET] (1997)

Schubert/Mendelssohn: Piano Trios


Schubert: Piano Trio in Bf D898 Op99; Schumann: Piano Trio in Dm No1 Op63 (1997)

Bach: Cello Suiten (1997)

Bach: The 6 Cello Suites (1996)

La Musique Au Temps De Picasso (1996)

Victoria de los Angeles: Live In Concert 1952-1960 [2 CD Set] (1996)

I Never Saw Another Butterfly (1996)

Ofra Harnoy Collection Vol 1 (1996)

Maréchal-Book I (1996)

Brahms: Symphony No. 4 - Concerto For Violin Cello & Orchestra (1996)

Pablo Casals Plays J.S. Bach: The Six Cello Suites (1996)

Beethoven/Schumann: Trios For Piano Violin And Cello (1996)

4 Chamber Music Master Pieces (1996)

Bach - Apollo (1996)

Casals - Toldra - Montsalvatge (1996)

Casals: Bow & Baton (1995)

Art of Alfred Cortot (1995)

Brahms: Piano Trio No. 2; Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 (1995)

78 Classics Vol 1 (1995)

Encores (1995)

Franz Schubert - Ludwig van Beethoven: Quintet Op 163 - Variations No3 Op 66 (1995)

Casals Plays Mozart Mendelssohn & Brahms (1995)

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 22 (1995)

Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes Op23; Glosses Op48 (1995)

Beethoven: Trio No. 6 Op. 97 - Sonata for Cello & Piano (1995)

In Memoriam (1995)

Faure: Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 (1995)

Bach: The Three Gamba Sonatas; Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (1995)

Johannes Brahms: Sextet No 1 - Piano Trio No 1 (1994)

Beethoven: Trios Nos 4 & 7 (1994)

Schumann: Cello Concerto - Piano Trio No 1 (1994)

Schubert/Beethoven: Piano Trios (1994)

Schumann: Cello Concerto in Am Op129; Bach: Sonata for viola da gamba No1 (1994)

Tovey: Cello Concerto (1994)

Alfred Cortot Plays Weber (1994)

Art of Pablo Casals (1994)

Early Recordings 1925-1928 (1994)

Pablo Casals Edition: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1994)

Bach: Greatest Hits (1994)

Franz Schubert: Quintet - Symphony No.5 (1994)

Meditations (1994)

Beethoven: Variations in F Op66; Variations in Ef WoO46 (1994)

Beethoven: Variations in G WoO45; Trios Op70 (1994)

Casals: Sacred Choral Music (1994)

Casals: The Victor Recordings (1994)

Beethoven:Trio No.1 and Schubert:Trio No.2 (1994)

The Best of Boccherini (1993)

The Best of Ofra Harnoy (1993)

Pablo Casals Plays Beethoven [2 CD Set] (1993)

Pablo Casals Plays Brahms (1993)

The Recorded Cello Vol.I [3 CD Set] (1993)

Casals Plays Haydn; Beethoven (1993)

Schubert: Quintet Op. 163 / Beethoven: Variations Op. 66 (1993)

Dvorak: Concerto for cello in Bm; Bruch: Kol Nidrei Op47 (1993)

Casals Festivals at Prades Vol. 1 (1993)

Casals Festivals at Prades Vol. 2 (1993)

Ginastera - Montsalvatge - Casals and others (1993)

Johannes Brahms: Sextet Op 18 (1992)

Piano Trios Played by Cortot; Thibaud & Casals (1992)

Beethoven: CELLO SONATAS 3-5 (1992)

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 "Italian"; Octet for Strings Op 20 (1991)

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos; Orchestral Suite No.4 (1990)

Marlboro Music Festival-40TH Anniversary (1990)

Marlboro Music Festival: Beethoven Symph Nos 7 & 8 (1990)

Bach: Suites for Cello Vol 1 (1990)

Bach: Suites for Cello Vol 2 (1990)

Dvorak: Concerto for cello in Bm; Elgar: Concerto for cello in Em (1990)

Celebration! Life With Music (1990)

CBS Masterworks Dinner Classics (1990)