Saturday, July 19, 2008

Paul Casals

Paul Casals was a Catalan cellist and composer. He studied at Barcelona from 1887 and made his début there in 1891. After further study in Madrid and Brussels, his international career began in 1899, when he played Lalo's Concerto under Lamoureux in Paris. In 1905 he formed a trio with Thibaud and Cortot, recording works by Schubert and Beethoven. As a soloist Casals was renowned for his beautiful tone and intellectual strength. His playing did much to bring Bach's suites into the repertory. He formed the Orquestra Pau Casals in Barcelona in 1919 but his activities were curtailed by the Spanish Civil War. In 1950 at Prades he returned to music-making and later directed festivals at Perpignan and Puerto Rico. His many pupils included Guilhermina Suggia, with whom he formed a liaison. Casals wrote instrumental works and many choral pieces of a simple, devotional nature.

He died on October 22, 1973.