Pablo Casals quotes

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Pablo Casals

Birthdate: 29. December 1876
Date of death: 22. October 1973

Pau Casals i Defilló , usually known in English as Pablo Casals, was a cellist, composer, and conductor from Spain. He is generally regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century and one of the greatest cellists of all time. He made many recordings throughout his career of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, including some as conductor, but he is perhaps best remembered for the recordings of the Bach Cello Suites he made from 1936 to 1939. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy .

„This is the greatest honour I have ever received in my life. Peace has always been my greatest concern.“

—  Pablo Casals

Medal of Peace acceptance
Context: This is the greatest honour I have ever received in my life. Peace has always been my greatest concern. Yet in my childhood I learned to love it. My mother—an exceptional, brilliant woman — used to speak to me about it when I was still a child, because in those years there were also a lot of wars. What is more, I am a Catalan. Today, a province of Spain. But what has been Catalonia? Catalonia has been the greatest nation in the world. I will tell you why. Catalonia has had the first parliament, much before England. Catalonia had the first United Nations. All the authorities of Catalonia in the Eleventh Century met in a city of France, at that time Catalonia, to speak about peace, at the Eleventh Century. Peace in the world and against, against, against war, the inhumanity of the wars. So I am so happy, so happy, to be with you today. That is why the United Nations, which works solely towards the peace ideal, is in my heart, because anything to do with peace goes straight to my heart.

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