Pablo Casals was a composer, conductor, and above all a cellist and a humanist. Considered by many as one of the greates cellist ever. He played with composers such as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Schönberg and Hindemith.
He invented slighty hitting the strings of the cello with the fingers to give a stronger and more expressive feeling to his music. He also was the first one to lift the arch from the strings of the cello, because he thought it was not graceful. Before his time a cellist always kept the arch over the strings. Both of these techniques are used by cellist all around the world today.
Casals ended his days on the island of Puerto Rico after he escaped from the fascist regime of Spanish General Francisco Franco (who at some time in hisotiry was a friend of Hitler and Mussolini).
In Puerto Rico, Casals founded The Conservatory of Music Of Puerto Rico and the San Juan Symphony Orchestra.
<FFChopin1gmail.com> adds: Pablo Casals was also a brilliant pianist.