WBUR's Andrea Shea previews a celebration of the musicianship and humanitarian work of Pablo Casals, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston. NEC faculty involved in this celebration include Yeesun Kim, Lluís Claret, Mike Block, and Pei-Shan Lee.
Musician Yeesun Kim wakes up every morning the way Pablo Casals did — by playing one of Bach’s six, demanding cello suites from memory. With her eyes closed, Kim’s fingers dart along her cello’s neck with a life of their own. She says it’s taken years to wrap her head around Casals’ long iconic interpretations.
“Oftentimes when you listen to Casals playing, you don't really think that it's cello,” explained Kim, who is a member of the Borromeo String Quartet, which is in residence at the New England Conservatory (NEC). “It's really, literally, like someone reciting their concept about life philosophy. It's a thought, it's not so much musical sound per se.”