Ten famous Catalans

Here we present ten famous Catalans that we think people ought to know about. They are a mix of older people and current famous people.

Pep Guardiola

Josep Guardiola i Salas is normally known as Pep. He was born in 1971 in Santpedor in Barcelona. As a footballer he played in midfield for Barcelona FC and was part of Johan Cruyff's famous "dream team". He is famous for his part in this team already.
Today he is now also famous as the current trainer of Barcelona FC. In the club's last season they won the famous triple, the league title, the King's cup and the European Championship. This incredible triumph has made Pep and Barcelona still more famous.
The other reason for Pep's fame in Catalunya is that his management of Barça is based on an ethic of hard work and modesty. All of the team work hard and there are no superstars. This policy of success from effort is very popular with Barcelona's fans and Catalan society in general.

Montserrat Caballé i Folc

Montserrat Caballé was born in Barcelona in 1933. She studied in the Superior Conservatory of Music for twelve years and won the gold medal in 1954. She sang in the Basilea theatre and then in Bremen. Her debut in El Liceu, the most import concert hall in Catalunya, was in 1962.
She became famous outside Catalunya when she substituted for Marilyn Horne at Carnegie hall in New York in 1965.
Her most famous moment for most people was when she sang with Freddie Mercury at the opening of the Olympic games in Barcelona in 1992.

Pau Casals

Pau Casals has been one of the best Cellists in the world. He is recognised around the world as one of the best players and orchestra directors of the twentieth century.
He was born in El Vendrell in 1876 and from when he was a child he showed a great feeling for music. His father was also a musician and he encouraged him to study first in Barcelona and then in Madrid.
He started his professional career when he was 23, he bacame famous for his innovative interpretations as a musician and for the depth of his direction. His career was interrupted by the Spanish civil war and he was exiled first in france and then in Puerto Rico.
In addition to his musical abilities he was also famous for his defence of peace and freedom. He gave many concerts for voluntary organisations and for the United Nations.
He died in 1973 in Puerto Rico and was buried in his own town of El Vendrell.

Anton Gaudi

Anton Gaudí i Cornet was born in Reus, quite near Roquetes, in 1852. He is a world famous architect, famous for his wonderful buildings in Barcelona and for his very individual style.
He studied in Barcelona and qualified as an architect in 1878, when he graduated the director of his school said, "today we have given the title of architect to a madman and a genius."
Gaudí soon deserved this reputation. He made friends with Eusebi Güell and with him created many famous works, the most famous is la Casa Güell 1888.

When he was 30 years old he was given his most famous commission, the construction of the church Sagrada Familia. He worked on this church for 43 years until his death. The church was never finished in his lifetime and in fact is still being built now.

Josep Taradelles i Joan

He was born in Cervelló in 1899 and was famous as the Catalan president in exile from 1954 to 1980. He had to be in exile in France during this time because the government of General France didn't accept the existence of a Catalan government. His exile ended with the death of Franco in 1974 and he came back to Catalunya to prepare the first free Catalan elections in 1980. His arrival in Barcelona became very famous when he appeared in front of a massive crowd and said, "Ciutadans de Catalunya, ja sóc aqui." (citizens of Catalunya, now I am here.)

Salvador Dalí i Domènech

Born in Figueres 1904 Dalí is one of the most famous Catalan/Spanish painters, a sculptor, graphic artist, and designer. After passing through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting, he joined the Surrealists in 1929 and his talent for self-publicity rapidly made him the most famous representative of the movement. Throughout his life he cultivated eccentricity and exhibitionism (one of his most famous acts was appearing in a diving suit at the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition in 1936), claiming that this was the source of his creative energy. He took over the Surrealist theory of automatism but transformed it into a more positive method which he named `critical paranoia'. According to this theory one should cultivate genuine delusion as in clinical paranoia while remaining residually aware at the back of one's mind that the control of the reason and will has been deliberately suspended. He claimed that this method should be used not only in artistic and poetical creation but also in the affairs of daily life. His paintings employed a meticulous academic technique that was contradicted by the unreal `dream' space he depicted and by the strangely hallucinatory characters of his imagery. He described his pictures as `hand-painted dream photographs' and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half-open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax.

Joan Manel Serrat

Born in Barcelona in 1943 and usually known as just Serrat, he is one of Catalunya's most famous singer songwriters. He grew up in Barcelona in the time just after the Spanish civil war and his earliest songs reflect this time. He studied agriculture at university in Tarragona and finished the top of his class.

His first songs he sung on Radio Barcelona and in 1965 he produced his first record. He originally sang in Catalan but in 1968 he produced his first versions in Castella. This led to him being chosed to represent Spain in Eurovision with the song La la la, he was widely criticised for singing in Castella and not in Catalan and in the end worried that he would lost his Catalan audience he told the authorities he wanted to sing the song in Catalan not Castella. This led to him being dropped and Massiel sang the Spanish version of the song in Eurovision and won.

The content of Serrat's songs had a definite political message in these years of the dictatorship in Spain and during the time of the transition, from dictatorship to democracy, Serrat's popularity and importance grew.

Now he has become one of Catalunya's and Spain's favourite singers. He has now retired but still continues to sing in many different concerts.

El Tricicle

El Tricicle, the tricycle, is a Catalan comedy group whose shows are all based on gestures and mime. The group is formed by Carles Sans, Joan Gràcia and Paco Mir. Founded in 1979 for the last 28 years they have now become famous internationally as one of the best mime groups in the world.

This is a part of that show, the tennis game, one of my favourites.

The group started in 1979 but didn't have their first professional show till 1982. Their show was a great succes and in that same year they received a prize in the Sitges Theatre Festival. In 1986 they produced their third and perhaps most famous show Slastic. Then in 1989 they produced their first television show with the title Tres Estrelles, three stars.

After the success of Slastic they didn't produce another show till 1992. Then they created Terrífic. Several other shows followed and the group is now very popular across Catalunya, Spain and internationally. The group are still working now and have a show touring Spain at the moment.

Llol Beltran

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