Pablo Casals’s Cello Gets a New Life


BALTIMORE—Amit Peled heard his first cello recording at age 10 while living on an Israeli kibbutz, not long after he took up the instrument to impress a girl. One day, he popped a tape he’d been given into his boom box and listened in wonder to Pablo Casals.

Now a 40-year-old cellist, Mr. Peled is practicing and performing on the very instrument that dazzled him in late 1983—an unlikely circumstance that has made him believe in destiny.

That cello, which Mr. Casals played more than any other, recently had its first thorough restoration in decades at the urging of Mr. Peled. On Nov. 7, he will take it on a Midwest tour, performing 19 cello-and-piano recitals. On Dec. 17 he plays at Rockefeller University in New York.

For Mr. Peled, the tour offers audiences the chance to hear his playing as well as the rejuvenated sound of the Casals cello, which he calls “Pablo.” But it is also an opportunity to burnish the legacy of Mr. Casals, who was admired as much for his verve as his virtuosity.