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Born in 1876
Inducted in 2002
Pau Carlos Salvador Defillo de Casals was born in El Ventrell, Catalonia (Spain). At age twelve he entered the Escuela Municipal de Musica in Barcelona. Gifted beyond measure, he played a brilliant cello recital at age four-teen, and was graduated with honors at seventeen. He then immediately took advanced studies at conservatories in Madrid and Brussels, and returned to his alma mater, a distinguished professor at age twenty. His international career began at the turn of the century with tours of the United States and South America and a recital at Carnegie Hall (1904). A half-century later he was still at it, playing for world leaders everywhere, including John F. Kennedy and friends at the White House. For sixty years, his world-wide master classes drew over-flow crowds of students and professionals eager to be enlightened and inspired. And his recordings, especially of the Bach unaccompanied cello suites, are considered “definitive” in every dimension. With hesitation he moved back and forth from virtuoso cellist to distinguished composer and conductor. He conducted his Hymn of the United Nations in October 1972, two months before his 95th birthday. Pablo Casals ranks among the greatest of the 20th century master musicians.