Pablo Casals (El Vendrell, 1876 – San Juan de Puerto Rico, 1973) was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. As a performer, his innovation in bowing technique and fingering made him the first virtuoso of the modern cello, positioning it as a solo instrument. As a conductor, Casals matched his genius as a cello player. His gestures followed the musical phrase and had a natural beauty that no school is capable of teaching. His aim went beyond technical perfection and was to communicate the strength inherent in the music. Apart from the Pau Casals Orchestra, he conducted numerous international orchestras. As a composer, he wrote the oratorio El Pessebre, the Hymn of the United Nations and the cello arrangement of Song of the Birds.