- Paul R. Laird
Casals, Pablo (29 December 1876–22 October 1973), cellist and conductor, was born Pau Carlos Salvador Defilló de Casals in El Vendrell (Catalonia), Spain, the son of Carlos Casals i Riba, a musician, and Pilar Ursula Defilló i Amiguet. Casals demonstrated his musical gift early, joining his father’s church choir at age five and later studying violin, piano, and organ with his father. He discovered the cello in 1888 and entered the Municipal School of Music in Barcelona. Casals studied cello with José García, his only teacher on the instrument, but even then he was rethinking accepted techniques of cello playing. He was joined in Barcelona by his mother and brother, helping support the family by playing in a café. He graduated in 1893 with highest honors in cello, piano, and composition....