Casals’ Individual International Artistic Boycott (1945–?)

Silvia Lazo


Pau Casals (1876-1973, also known as Pablo Casals) was a notable Catalan cellist, conductor and humanitarian, born in Catalonia (Spain). He went into exile in Prades, France in 1939, towards the end of the Spanish Civil War, subsequently relocating to Puerto Rico in 1957. In October 1945, the apparent lack of Allied intervention in Spain ignited Casals' international artistic boycott, wherein the artist refused to perform in any country recognizing the Franco regime, which included the United States and England. This paper isolates some of the variables that impact the persuasiveness of his individual international artistic boycott with respect to two international relations (IR) theories, Structural Realism and Constructivism. Evidence presented in this paper stems from Casals' biographies, performance records, contemporaneous US Foreign Relations archives, academic articles, and newspapers. This analysis reveals that international artistic boycotts fail when not aligned with US national interests or a negative view of the target country by the United States.


Pau Casals, Artistic Boycott, Protest Music

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