The musical aesthetic of Pau Casals and the role of music in peacebuilding are the two new projects awarded grants by the Pau Casals UNESCO Chair

The grants programme’s second call, which aims to promote research and knowledge of the musician’s musical and humanistic legacy, received 26 applications from students and researchers all over the world.

A total of 26 research projects on Pau Casals were submitted to the Pau Casals Foundation and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) Pau Casals UNESCO Chair. The grants programme aimed at promoting research and knowledge about Casals’ musical and humanistic legacy made a second call for applications this year. The proposals received included “The musical aesthetic of Pau Casals. Tradition and Modernity”, by Magda Polo, and “The roles and functions of music in United Nations peacebuilding”, by John Gledhill, which have been selected to receive grants of €2,000 each.

The call, which was open to students and researchers from all over the world, received very different proposals. They range from musicological projects on Casals’ legacy to projects on the role of music in conflict prevention, or peacebuilding. The proposals came from 11 different countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain); 4 came from Catalan universities and research centres, 11 from institutions elsewhere in Spain, and 11 were international.

The selection committee, made up of Joan Fuster-Sobrepere, Alfons Martinell, Bernard Meillat, Núria Ballester, Miguel Ángel Elizalde, Marc Gil, Pepe Reche and Jordi Pardo, emphasized the quality, excellence and interest of the proposals presented, and decided to award two grants for the projects: “The musical aesthetic of Pau Casals. Tradition and modernity“, presented by Magda Polo, Professor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts and History of Music in the Department of History of Art at the University of Barcelona and “The roles and functions of music in United Nations peacebuilding“, presented by John Gledhill, Associate Professor in the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford.

The first project aims to understand the fundamental aesthetic beliefs and values that guided the life and musical work of Pau Casals. This project aims to fill a gap in the field of Pau Casals’ research, specifically in musical aesthetics, both nationally and internationally.

The second project considers that various actors in the United Nations (UN) system, such as the Secretariat, peacekeeping missions, UNESCO and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), have used music as a tool for peacebuilding. So far, however, the ways in which UN actors have deployed music for peace have not been systematically documented, analysed and categorised.

In partnership with the Spanish Society of Performance Artists (AIE), offers a financial endowment of €2,000 for each project receiving a grant, as well as support from a committee of experts and access to Pau Casals’ documentary collection in the National Archive of Catalonia, among other benefits.

Find out more about the call for proposals, the selection committee and the projects awarded grants.