Pablo Casals was a statesman and advocate for peace
Pablo Casals used his musical talents as a platform to address the humanitarian issues of his time. He was bigger than the music he played and connected the peace and joy of music as a way to heal human suffering and injustice.
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Pablo Casals used his gifts as a cellist to change the world. In 1963, John F. Kennedy recognized this, and announced that he would be giving Casals the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor only made more rare by Casals Spanish citizenship.Casals also composed an anthem for the United Nations in the name of peace. Casals was exiled from his native Spain in 1939 after the Spanish civil war broke out, but he did not go quietly. While in exile, he continued to speak out against Francisco Franco. Casals went on a 13-year artistic protest in 1945 to voice his displeasure with countries that supported Franco's regime, before playing for the UN in 1958. As a result of this protest, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Casals wrote letters addressed to the FBI Director between 1958 and 1961, made television appearances, and gave speeches. He even met with other Civil Rights advocates such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Pablo Casals is the greatest cellist of all time because not only was he able to be an accomplished musician, but an outspoken activist as well.
While Pablo Casals was undoubtedly an accomplished Civil Rights advocate, this fact alone does not make him the greatest cellist of all time. To be the greatest cellist of all time, a person's skills playing the cello must be examined apart from all of their other accomplishments.