This afternoon, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, presided over a ceremony to present the Pau Casals Prize to Jaume Plensa, who he described as “one of the most internationally acclaimed sculptors, whose work is admired around the world”.
“He has taught at prestigious academic institutions without ever losing touch with his roots,” Torra said.
The Pau Casals Prize is awarded biannually to outstanding Catalan cultural figures. It is named after the Catalan cellist, composer, and conductor Pau Casals, generally regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century and one of the greatest of all time.
The Catalan government awarded this year’s edition of the prize to Plensa in recognition of his long career and his contribution to raising the international profile of Catalan culture. As a recipient of this distinction, Plensa becomes an honorary ambassador for Catalan culture, which he will represent, disseminate and showcase around the world.
At the ceremony, which was held in the Saló de Sant Jordi of the Palau de la Generalitat, the head of the executive thanked the Pau Casals Foundation and Jordi Savall, the previous winner of the prize, for their work and stressed the value and importance of Catalan culture, which he said “is a symbol of the Catalan people’s yearning for freedom and peace”. Torra said that Pau Casals himself may be the clearest example of this.