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Home / Authors, Composers and Clinicians / CASALS, Marta(b.1936)
CASALS, Marta(b.1936)
Picture About CASALS, Marta(b.1936)

Marta Casals Istomin (born November 2, 1936), who uses the surnames of her first husband, Pablo Casals, and her second husband, Eugene Istomin, is a musician from Puerto Rico, and the former president of the Manhattan School of Music.

Casals Istomin was born Marta Montañez Martínez was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, to a family of amateur musicians. As a child she was influenced by musical surroundings which were instrumental in the development of her love for music. She received her primary education in her hometown. Her uncle, Rafael Montañez, taught her the fundamentals of the violin at the age of six. After she finished her primary education, she attended the Marymount School, New York, for four years.

Casals Istomin met world renowned pianist Eugene Istomin and they were married on February 15, 1975. In 1979, she resigned from her position in the Casals Festival and from 1980-1990 served as the Artistic Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.. During her years as director she founded The Kennedy Center's Terrace Concerts. She also established the largest ballet series in the United States.

From 1990-1997, Casals Istomin was the General Director of "Recontres Musicales d'Evian Festival International" in France. As director, she was instrumental in the establishment of master classes with the festival's visiting artists and the expansion of the festival by requiring an inclusion of choral music. This led to the building of a new concert hall.

On July 1, 1992, Casals Istomin was named President of the Manhattan School of Music, a position which she held until her retirement in October 2005. In 1998, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade named Casals Istomin the Grand Marshall of the parade. Eugene Istomin died in 2003. During the years she has been honored with six honorary doctoral degrees. She has also been decorated with the highest cultural honors by the governments of Puerto Rico, Spain, France and Germany. Casals Istomin currently is a member of the Manhattan School of Music's board of directors. She is also a member of the Artistic Council of the Kronberg Academy.