« Music takes away hatred in those who are without love. It gives peace to those who are restless, consoles those who mourn. » Pablo Casals

«The most perfect technique is that which remains unnoticed. » Pablo Casals

 Pablo Casals was born on 29th December, 1876 at Vendrell (Catalonia) into a family of musicians. His father was an organist and a music teacher. At the age of four, Pablo Casals learned to play the piano and then began the violin and the flute. At twelve, he discovered the cello which he studied at the municipal music school in Barcelona. His father would often accompany him to Barcelona to find music scores. One day, Pablo discovered by chance the Six Suites of JS Bach in a pile of dusty papers. He practised the Suites for 12 years before daring to play them in public. “Gradually, as I continued studying the Suites, an unknown world of grandeur and beauty opened before my eyes. The emotions I have experienced during this long process are among the purest and most intense of my life as an artist. ”


Pablo Casals Oreille

It all began in 1950, the year of the bicentennial of JS Bach when his friends, as well as his American admirers, urged Pablo Casals to celebrate, knowing that the master worshiped JS Bach. This is how the festival was created, and the first concert took place in the parish church of Prades following a decade during which Casals had declined to play in public because of events in Spain.
Jomy Alain has made a very good documentary on the life of Pablo Casals and on how the festival was created.