Casals studied at the Barcelona Municipal Music School, where he showed early technical ability in unusual bowing and fingering experiments.
He later studied at the Madrid Conservatory with Bretón. Casals started his international career with a concert for Queen Victoria in 1899. His goal as a musician was to achieve truth and beauty in his art. He played with simple, complete control and was known for his beautiful tone and intellectual interpretations. In addition to touring widely, Casals founded the Ecole Normale in Paris and also the Orquesta Pau Casals in Barcelona, which he also conducted. The outbreak of civil war in Spain precipitated a threat of execution from the Franco regime and Casals's involvement in political concerns. During WWII, he gave many concerts to benefit the Red Cross and his fellow Catalan exiles. As a form of protest, he was never heard in Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy. He began a self-imposed exile from performing in 1946 in renunciation of the Franco regime. He broke his silence in 1950, but he continued to work for peace through his music. Casals was an inspired teacher and also composed many pieces, most of which remain unpublished. ~ Lynn Vought