from and about
(biographical info at bottom of page)
the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.
the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner.
It is not a mechanical routine, but something essential to my
I go to the piano, and play two preludes and fugues of Bach.
I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is a sort of
benediction on the house.
But that is not its only meaning for me. It is a rediscovery
of the world
of which I have the joy of being a part. It fills me with
of the wonder of life, with a feeling of the incredible marvel
of being a human being.
Each second we live is a new
and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what
do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that
Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We
should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are
unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child
like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may
become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for
anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm
another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make
the world worthy of its children.
Love for one's
country is great but why should
that love stop at that border?
understanding does not come from what we learn in books;
it comes from what we learn from love of nature, of music, of man.
For only what is learned in that way is truly understood.
The child must know that he or she is a miracle,
the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end
of the world will not be, another child like him or her.
live is not enough; we must take part.
the whole world you might be just one person,
but to one person you might just be the whole world.
is all about us, but how many are blind! They look at
the wonder of this earth and seem to see nothing. People
but give little thought to where they are going.
They seek excitement.
. . as if they were
lost and desperate.
great Spanish cellist (and conductor), Pau Casals (actually, Pau
Carlos Salvador Defilló--"Pau" is the Catalan spelling
of Pablo), legend has it, supported by Casals
that he was conceived when Brahms began his B-flat Major Quartet,
which Casals owned the original manuscript, and that he was born
Brahms completed its composition. This legend is rendered moot by
fact that the quartet in question was completed and performed
Casals was even born. But even the ascertainable facts of
the life of
Casals make it a glorious tale. His father, the parish
choirmaster in Vendrell, gave Casals instruction in piano, violin,
organ. When Casals was 11, he first heard the cello performed by a
group of traveling musicians, and decided to study the instrument.
In 1888 his mother took him to Barcelona, where he enrolled in the
Escuela Municipal de Música. There he studied cello with
José García, theory with José Rodoreda, and piano with Joaquín
Malats and Francisco Costa Llobera. His progress as a
cellist was nothing short of prodigious, and he was able to give a
solo recital in Barcelona at the age of 14, on February 23, 1891;
he graduated with honors in 1893.
Albéniz, who heard him play in a cafe trio, gave Pau Casals a
of introduction to Count Morphy, the private secretary to María
Cristina, the Queen Regent, in Madrid. Casals was asked to
informal concerts in the palace, and was granted a royal stipend
composition study with Tomás Bretón. In 1893 he entered
the Conservatory de Musica y Declamacion in Madrid, where he
attended chamber music classes of Jesus de Monasterio. He also
played in the newly organized Quartet Society there (1894-1895).
In 1895 he went to Paris and, deprived of his stipend from Spain,
earned a living by playing 2nd cello in the theater orchestra of
the Folies Marigny. He decided to return to Spain, where he
received, in 1896, an appointment to the faculty of the Escuela
Municipal de Música in Barcelona; he was also principal cellist
in the orchestra of the Gran Teatro del Liceo. In 1897 he appeared
as soloist with the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded the
Order of Carlos III from the Queen. His career as a cello virtuoso
was then assured.
In 1899 Pau Casals played at the Crystal Palace in London, and
for Queen Victoria at her summer residence at Cowes, Isle of
November 12, 1899, he appeared as a soloist at a prestigious
Concert in Paris, and played with Lamoureux again on December 17,
1899, obtaining exceptional success with both the public and the
press. He toured Spain and the Netherlands with the pianist Harold
(1900-1901); then made his first tour of the USA (1901-1902).
1903 he made a grand tour of South America. On January 15, 1904,
he was invited to play at the White House for President Theodore
Roosevelt. In 1906 he became associated with the talented
young Portuguese cellist Guilhermina Suggia, who studied with him
and began to appear in concerts as Mme. P. Casals-Suggia, although
they were not legally married. Their liaison was dissolved
in 1912; in 1914 Casals married the American socialite and singer
Susan Metcalfe; they were separated in 1928, but did not divorce
Continuing his brilliant career, Pau Casals organized, in Paris,
concert trio with the pianist Cortot and the violinist Thibaud;
played concerts together until 1937. Casals also became interested
conducting, and in 1919 he organized, in Barcelona, the Orquesta
Casals and led its first concert on October 13, 1920. With
of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, the Orquesta Pau Casals ceased
activities. Casals was an ardent supporter of the Spanish
government, and after its defeat vowed never to return to Spain
democracy was restored. He settled in the French village of
the Spanish frontier; between 1939 and 1942 he made sporadic
appearances as a cellist in the unoccupied zone of southern France
and in Switzerland. So fierce was his opposition to the
Franco regime in Spain that he declined to appear in countries
that recognized the totalitarian Spanish government, making an
exception when he took part in a concert of chamber music in the
White House on November 13, 1961, at the invitation of President
John F. Kennedy, whom he admired.
In 1950 Pau Casals resumed his career as conductor and cellist
Prades Festival, organized in commemoration of the bicentennial of
death of Bach; he continued leading the Prades Festivals until
made his permanent residence in 1956, when he settled in San Juan,
Puerto Rico (his mother was born there when the island was still
Spanish rule). In 1957 an annual Festival Casals was
inaugurated there. During all these years, he developed energetic activities as a
pedagogue, leading master classes in Switzerland, Italy, Berkeley,
California, and Marlboro, Vermont, some of which were televised.
Pau Casals was also a composer; perhaps his most effective work
is La sardana, for an ensemble of cellos, which he composed in
oratorio El Pessebre (The Manger) was performed for the first time
Acapulco, Mexico, on December 17, 1960. One of his last
compositions was the Himno a las Naciones Unidas (Hymn of the
United Nations); he
conducted its first performance in a special concert at the United
Nations on October 24, 1971, two months before his 95th
August 3, 1957, at the age of 80, Casals married his young pupil
Marta Montañez; following his death, she married the pianist Eugene
on February 15, 1975. Casals did not live to see the
liberation of Spain
from the Franco dictatorship, but he was posthumously honored by
Spanish government under King Juan Carlos I, which issued in 1976
commemorative postage stamp in honor of his 100th birthday.
Because many visitors have asked for more information
about particular people whose words
appear on the site,
we'll try to give you as much information as we can about
The Amazon links should give you access
to works by the author, though at times they'll
other books if the author has written an essay or
introduction for those books.
people: Alan Watts - Albert
Einstein - Albert Schweitzer
- Andy Rooney - Anne
Frank - Anne Morrow
Anne Wilson Schaef - Annie Dillard
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Kiev - Artur Rubenstein - Barbara
Johnson - Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin Hoff
- Bernie Siegel - Bertrand
Russell - Betty Eadie - Booker
Charlotte Davis Kasl - Cheryl
Richardson - Cristina Feldman
- C.S. Lewis - the
Dalai Lama - Dale Carnegie - Deepak
Don Miguel Ruiz - Earl
Nightingale - Elaine St. James
- Eleanor Roosevelt - Elisabeth
Kuebler-Ross - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emmet Fox - Frederick Buechner
- George Bernard Shaw - George
Santayana - George
Washington Carver - Gerald
Harold Kushner - Harry
Emerson Fosdick - Helen Keller -
Henry David Thoreau - Henry
James - Henry Van Dyke
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Henry
Ward Beecher - Hugh Prather - Immanuel
Kant - Iyanla Vanzant - Jack
James Allen - Jennifer
James - Jim Rohn - Joan
Borysenko - Joan Chittister -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- John Izzo -
Ruskin - Joni Eareckson Tada - Joseph M.
Marshall III - Julia Cameron - Kent
Nerburn - Khalil Gibran -
Buscaglia - Leonard Jacobson - Leslie Levine
- Lucinda Bassett - Lydia
Maria Child - Lynn Grabhorn - Marcus
Marianne Williamson - Martin
Luther King, Jr. - Maya Angelou
- Melody Beattie - Michael
Goddart - Mitch Albom
Mohandas Gandhi - Morrie Schwartz
- Mother Teresa - M.
Scott Peck - Nathaniel Branden
- Nikos Kazantzakis - Norman
Norman Vincent Peale - Og Mandino
- Oprah Winfrey - Oriah
- Orison Swett Marden - Pau
Casals - Peace Pilgrim - Phillips
Rabindranath Tagore - Rachel Carson
- Rachel Naomi Remen - Rainer
Maria Rilke - Ralph Waldo Trine
- Richard Bach
Richard Carlson - Robert Frost -
Robert Fulghum - Robert
Louis Stevenson - Russell Baker
- Sarah Ban Breathnach
Shakti Gawain - Soren
Kierkegaard - Stephen Covey - Stephen
C. Paul - Sue Patton Thoele
- Susan L. Taylor
Sylvia Boorstein - Thich Nhat Hanh
- Thomas Carlyle - Thomas
Kinkade - Thomas Merton - Tom
Walsh - Victor Cherbuliez
Wayne Dyer - Wilferd A. Peterson
- Willa Cather - William
James - William Wordsworth
- Zig Ziglar