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Violinist Francesca dePasquale: Forging Her Own Path

Alexandra DeFurio
Violinist Francesca dePasquale

If The Philadelphia Orchestra ever had an orchestral dynasty, its name is dePasquale. But Francesca dePasquale, a 26-year-old violinist, told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns how she's forging her own path as a soloist — and what that takes.

David Patrick Stearns: Is it your imagination, or do you hear immediately hear the famous Philadelphia Orchestra sound in Francesca dePasquale? Her parents, Gloria and the late William dePasquale, have embodied the sound as much as anybody during their years in the orchestra. So how could even an   independent-minded daughter avoid it?

Francesca dePasquale: That's just the sound I heard around me all the time and so that has to have had an influence, I think. I think I've made it my own but I think you absolutely hear the influence of that. It's a very, sort of, sculpted, in the string kind of approach with the bow.  There's always a presence of core. I really hope that it's never just the sound in and of itself, that it's a means to a larger purpose of expression.

DPS: Recording her recital program under first-class circumstances was made possible by a 2014 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship but this graduate of the Colburn and Juilliard schools had to assemble the project herself. Same thing for the recital tour. A few hundred emails yielded eight engagements, which she considered a victory.

FDP: Probably the more discouraging moments were simply when i felt like, Ok I really just want to be practicing (laughs). But I consider it - what a fantastic learning experience. And I think that even if I get to the point where someone else is helping me with these details, young artists need to know what goes into all of this.

DPS: She just landed a teaching gig at Rutgers University, but it's still not the most stable life, and the benefits are courtesy of Obamacare. Her cellist mother, Gloria dePasquale, counseled her on these realities.

FDP: It had to be something I love, and something I wanted for myself. 

DPS: And can you hear that in her playing, too?