February 22, 2016 (New York, NY) – A protégé of Itzhak Perlman and member of an impressive musical lineage, Francesca dePasquale is poised for an exceptional career. Possessing a plethora of artistic and personal maturity, the Juilliard graduate has parlayed career-supporting grants and significant peer and critical acclaim into a debut album and recital tour, establishing herself as an important young artist to watch.
A current Starling Fellow Teaching Assistant to Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School, Francesca belongs to the latest generation of Philadelphia’s distinguished dePasquale family of string players, with both parents and two uncles having comprised the noted dePasquale Quartet. Her father, William, served as the Philadelphia Orchestra’s co-concertmaster, and her mother, Gloria, is still a member of the cello section.
Francesca was the First Prize winner of the 2010 Irving M. Klein International String Competition
and was named by Musical America
as their February 2014 New Artist of the Month, but it was the prestigious 2014-2016 career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund
for the Performing and Visual Arts along with the 2015 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist
award that made this self-titled debut recording possible.
For the album, Francesca chose works that were “not only near and dear to her heart,” as she writes in the liner notes but that also "showed a wide range of who I am as an artist, the origins of which are embedded in my musical roots." The album begins with the Bach Partita no. 2 in D minor
, representing an origin of harmony as well as intimacy of expression indicative of the start of a young soloists’ artistic journey. The Messiaen Thème et Variations
explores timeless melody soaring over clustered, sometimes difficult harmony. Oceanic Fantasy
by Paola Prestini
, a new commission, shows the contemporary exploration of Southern Italian songs through a distinctive language of field recordings, sound samples, and solo violin, resulting in an immensely personal work that nods to the Southern Italian heritage of Paola's work in Lecce and Francesca's family. The Intermezzo
own transcription of “Marietta’s Lied”
from his opera Die Tote Stadt
both explore romanticism and nostalgia of expression through heartfelt, lyrical writing. Finally, the Bartók Rhapsody no. 1
is an earthy and rhythmic expression of a joy and full of life. The recording was engineered and produced by GRAMMY-Award winning producer Adam Abeshouse
The release of Francesca’s debut album coincides with a recital tour featuring repertoire from the album throughout March and April. Performances in Los Angeles, Palo Alto
and Visalia, CA
, are followed by dates in Philadelphia, Hudson, NY
and in Brooklyn
at National Sawdust
on April 6th.
Francesca plays her father’s violin, a contemporary instrument made by Sergio Peresson in 1968 at Moennig & Son in Philadelphia, with the signature gold round emblem on the tailpiece. “It has that really old Italian sound,” she told Sedgwick Clark of Musical America, “but the projection is also phenomenal in the hall.” Its companion is a François Nicolas Voirin bow.
For more details about the self-titled debut album Francesca dePasquale
and Francesca dePasquale’s upcoming recital tour, please visit http://francescadepasquale.instantencore.com
About Francesca dePasquale
Since her debut as soloist at age 9 touring Spain with the Main Line Chamber Orchestra, Francesca has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, Colburn Orchestra, Galesburg Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and Santa Cruz Symphony. As recitalist, she has collaborated with artists Meng-Chieh Liu, Natalie Zhu, John Root, and Reiko Uchida on series such as the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, In Situ at National Sawdust, California Music Center, and the Perlman Music Program.
An avid chamber musician, Francesca has performed with renowned artists such as Paul Coletti, Thomas Cooley, Jennifer Frautschi, Nicholas Kitchen, Ronald Leonard, Robert Levin, Merry Peckham, Itzhak Perlman, Jeffrey Sykes, Roger Tapping, Richard Todd, and Donald Weilerstein. She has performed for Marinus Ensemble, Fort Worth Chamber Music Society, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Manhattan Chamber Players, Music in the Vineyards, Olympic Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Colburn Chamber Music Society, and the Perlman Music Program. Additionally, she has collaborated with dancers Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside for the Fall for Dance Festival alongside composer Stefan Levin, as well as performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Brooklyn based orchestral collective The Knights.
Francesca is a member of the violin faculty at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and the Starling Fellow teaching assistant to Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School, where she is also teaching assistant to Catherine Cho. Committed to classical music outreach and its power to connect entire communities, Francesca has served as a mentor for the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles program, appeared on the Philadelphia Orchestra Sound All Around series, and traveled to São Paulo, Brazil for an educational residency of Juilliard Global.
Francesca graduated from the Juilliard School with a Master of Music degree, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho. As a student of Robert Lipsett, Francesca earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music. Previous teachers include Hirono Oka and William dePasquale, with additional mentorship from Norman Carol and Arnold Steinhardt.
About Meng-Chieh Liu
A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Meng-Chieh Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student at The Curtis Institute of Music when he substituted at last minute's notice for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The concert earned high acclaim from critics and audience alike, and was followed by a number of widely praised performances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center and a concert on the Philadelphia All-Star Series. Already an accomplished artist at the time, Mr. Liu had made his New York orchestral debut two years earlier.
Following Mr. Liu's triumph in Philadelphia, an appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra was immediately scheduled, but it was not to be. The stellar beginning of his career was abruptly halted by a rare and debilitating illness that affected his connective tissues. Hospitalized and almost immobile for a year, doctors believed his chances for survival were slim and, should he survive, playing the piano would be "absolutely impossible." With arduous determination and relentless physical therapy, Mr. Liu has been restored to full health and is now once again performing on the concert stage. Since then, he has performed throughout the world as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel and Alan Gilbert. In 2002, Liu received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award. A sought-after musician and strong advocate of chamber music, Liu performs in music festivals across the globe and has worked with international musicians Shmuel Ashkenasi, David Soyer, Bernard Greenhouse, James Buswell, Wendy Warner as well as the Borromeo and St. Lawrence Quartets. Liu also collaborates with artists in varied disciplines, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project, among other dance companies. His concerts have been heard over the airwaves around the world, and a biography on his life was broadcast on Taiwanese National Television.
Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Meng-Chieh Liu began his piano studies early, and at age thirteen was accepted by The Curtis Institute of Music to study with Jorge Bolet, Claude Frank, and Eleanor Sokoloff, and received first prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific and Mieczyslaw Munz piano competitions. Since 1993, Liu served on the piano and chamber music faculties at The Curtis Institute of Music where he coordinated the piano chamber music program from 1999-2009, and in 2006, he was invited to teach at Roosevelt University. Starting in the Fall of 2014, Liu also joined the faculty at the New England Conservatory. Liu also joined Chicago Chamber Musicians in the fall of 2009, and served as Artistic Director of the ensemble from 2011-2014, where performances have already been acclaimed for his "faultless, discreetly balanced pianism" (Chicago Classical Review).