Romantic or Modern ?

International Symposium, Masterclass, Concerts

at « la Bibliothèque La Grange Fleuret », « Le Salon Romantique de Croissy », « l’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris » & « la Salle Cortot » in Paris,  » Temple Pemtémont in Paris


Call for Papers
Organised by La Nouvelle Athènes, in collaboration with the Bern University of the Arts (HKB) and the Bibliothèque La Grange-Fleuret

Scientific Committee:
Manuel Bärtsch (HKB), Sebastian Bausch (HKB) Anne de Fornel (CNSMD Lyon), Aldo Mata (Conservatorio Superior de Sevilla), Bertrand Meillat (Fundación Casals), Eloy Orzaiz (CRR Boulogne-Billancourt), Laura Granero (mdw – Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien)


Pau (Pablo) Casals is widely regarded as the « first modern cellist ». But is this really the case? In the first half of the 20th century, the modernist movement and the impact of the world wars on society led many musicians to abandon the old romantic performing practices. Even if some musicians wanted to retain the traditions of the 19th century, music taste had changed and, in order to have a successful career, musicians had to adapt their playing to the new times. In Casals’s case, although much has been said of his alleged modernism, he was also certainly influenced by conservative German musicians, both in Berlin and in London.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the Catalan cellist (1973-2023), the Association La Nouvelle Athènes proposes to reflect on the opposition between the ancient and the modern by looking back at the first half of the 20th century, a period when different aesthetics converged until modernism became the dominant aesthetic.


The aim of the international symposium is to invite musicologists and international performer-researchers to present spoken papers and lecture-recitals on Casals and his contemporaries.

The main theme is the exploration of the interpretation of this period (especially on the cello and piano), with Pablo (Pau) Casals and Alfred Cortot as the main protagonists, highlighting his connection with the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris.
We also welcome other themes based on his musicians and contemporaries.

Conference themes
General topics 

– historically informed practice from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th ; 
– early recordings (especially cello and piano) and piano rolls; 
– the Spanish and European cello schools (19th-20th centuries).

Key figures at the conference

Pablo/Pau Casals (his interpretations, the evolution of his playing during his career, his chamber music partners, his school, his teaching, his influences, the analysis of his recordings, his compositions, etc.);
– Alfred Cortot (his aesthetics, his playing, his school, his pupils, the analysis of his recordings, his piano rolls, his relationship with Casals, etc.);
composers and performers who were close to Casals, such as Enrique Granados, Guilhermina Suggia, etc.);
– the teachers at the École Normale (especially in the first half of the 20th century) and its history;
Catalan musicians at the beginning of the 20th century (especially those who trained in Paris or who were in contact with Casals)

The conference will have a mixed face-to-face and online format.

Types of presentation:
Spoken paper: 20 min + 10 min questions
. Lecture-concert: 35 minutes + 10 min questions

To take part, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words in English or French, together with a short biography, to
paucasals50@gmail.com by 7 September.

The selected papers will be announced in mid-September 2023.   

Please also provide us with the following information: 
– if you have any date or time restrictions for your presentation (we will not be able to make any adjustments after the deadline); 

– if you have funding for travel and accommodation from your university or others, or if you would like to apply for a scholarship at La Nouvelle Athènes (please note that these scholarships are mainly intended for independent researchers with no university affiliation); 

– whether you prefer an in-person or remote presentation for your presentation, bearing in mind that conference-concerts will have priority for the in-person format. 

Languages of the conference
In-person: because of its international nature, the primary language of the conference will be English. However, papers may also be presented in French.

À distance / online: the primary language of the online version of the conference will also be English, but we also accept the following languages: Catalan, Spanish and French. However, speakers are encouraged to make their presentations in English.


50 per speaker (€30 compulsory membership of La Nouvelle Athènes + €20 voluntary donation)



. 22-23 Octobre 2023, ZOOM : Colloque international
. 14-15 Novembre 2023, Salon Romantique, Château Chanorier, avec l’association Chopin-Pleyel-Croissy:
Masterclass de musique de chambre, violoncelle et piano
Aldo Mata (Conservatoire Supérieur de Séville, Orchestre Baroque de Séville)
Laura Granero (MDW : Université de la Musique et des Arts Scéniques de Vienne)

. 17 Novembre 2023, Bibliothèque La Grange-Fleuret (11bis Rue de Vézelay, Paris 8e),
Avec la Bibliothèque La Grange – Fleuret :

*10h-18h30 Colloque international 
Dont à *12h : Présentation musicale du Disque « Miralls-Reflets », Namaan Sluchin (violon), Eloy Orzaiz (piano)

*19h-20h30 Concert – Lecture 20€ / 10€ :

-« Ravel and Dances of Far Away Times and Places » (Présentation musicale du disque : Linos Trio « In Search of Lost Dance »).
Prach Boondiskulchock (piano) et Jenna Sherry (violon)
-« Souvent da capo ». Pau Casals, son style et ses enregistrements (Présentation musicale de la reconstitution du concert de 1923 de Pau Casals & Fanny Davies au Palau de la Música Catalana). : Aldo Mata (violoncelle) & Laura Granero (piano)

. 18 Novembre 2023, Salle Cortot et Ecole Normale, 78 Rue Cardinet Paris 8e)
*10h-13h Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot (Colloque)

*20h30 Salle Cortot : Concert « Pau&Fanny ». Hommage au concert joué en 1923 par Pau Casals et Fanny Davies au Palau de la Música Catalana.
FANNY DAVIES Ensemble, Laura Granero piano, Aldo Mata violoncelle

.25 Novembre 2023 : Temple de Pentemont (106 Rue de Grenelle, Paris 6e),
*20h30 Concert « Miralls-Reflets ». Duo Naaman Sluchin violon, Eloy Orzaiz piano