International Klaipėda cello festival
2023 May 09
1 hr. 30 mins.
Klaipėda Faculty of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT), Concert Hall
Keynote speech by Jordi Pardo, Director General of the Pau Casals Foundation
Luka Coetzee (cello, Canada)
L. van Beethoven, R. Schumann, B. Britten, P. Casals, P. de Sarasate
This concert celebrates a true legend of the cello – Pablo Casals (1876–1973) – a Catalan composer, performer and humanist, whose works have graced the repertoire of cellists around the world. He fled the country at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 and from 1957 lived in Puerto Rico until his death in 1973. A beautiful story has been circulating, shared by Yousuf Karsh (1908–2002), a well-known photographer who photographed the composer and who spent “a few glorious hours with the maestro of the cello” at the Abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa close to Prades, in southwestern France. The photographer recalls that he was so moved by listening to the maestro play Bach that he could not even take a photograph. The monastery cell also had a profound effect, as if to convey the loneliness of the artist and his exile, the pinnacle of his art. Karsh writes that many years later, when Casals’s portrait was exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, an elderly gentleman was frequently found gazing at it. When the curator of the exhibition dared to gently ask: “Sir, why do you stand in front of this portrait day after day?”, the man looked at him and said: “Quiet, young man, can’t you see – I’m listening to music!”
To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Casals, the festival will host Jordi Pardo, Director General of the Casals Foundation, and feature a musical tribute by the winner of the 2022 Casals Foundation Competition, Luka Coetzee, a young Canadian cellist who has been described by Fanfare Magazine as “tonally, technically, and musically superb” and who is known for her passion for music that she is eager to share with audiences around the world. Her concert programme, alongside Casals’s opus, includes works by early Romantic and 20th century composers.
Mikhail Mordvinov, a winner of international competitions, pianist and professor at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and the Anton Rubinstein Academy of Music in Düsseldorf, will accompany the cellist.
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