Marta Casals Istomin was born in Puerto Rico to a family of amateur musicians. After her first music studies in Puerto Rico, she was awarded a scholarship to study cello at New York’s Mannes School of Music. She was married to Pablo Casals from 1957-1973, and to the American pianist Eugene Istomin from 1975-2003. She taught cello at the Conservatory of Puerto Rico and was visiting cello professor at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. From 1980 to 1991, she was Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center in Washington. She was President of the Manhattan School of Music in New York from 1992 to 2005, General Director of the Rencontres Musicales d’Evian (1990-97) and a member of the National Council on the Arts (1990-1997). Besides her activities for the Casals Foundation, Marta Casals Istomin is on the Board of all the main cultural institutions of Puerto Rico, of the Marlboro Festival, the Manhattan School of Music, the Kronberg Academy and The Nippon Music Foundation. The governments of Spain, France, Germany and Catalonia have decorated her with their highest civilian honors. In 2015, she was awarded the Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress in Washington.