Cellist, conductor, composer, humanist and staunch fighter for freedom and democracy, he is one of the most universal names in music and peace.

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.

As a musician, he joined the defence of peace, human rights and democracy. In turbulent times he defended a world without borders with music as a universal language of fraternity among peoples. He was invited on three occasions to visit and perform for the General Assembly of the United Nations and delivered historic speeches with great impact. Pablo Casals was commissioned by the United Nations to compose a hymn for the UN (Hymn of Peace), which was performed and conducted for the first time in 1971. In recognition of his humanitarian work and advocacy for peace, he received the first United Nations Peace Medal.

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Pau Casals