Concert Review | TheaterJones

Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth, "No Translation Necessary"

Prokofiev distilled an incredible range of influences, moods, and ideas in his brief Sonata for Two Violins, the work with which the program opened. Here, the group’s artistic director Gary Levinson (a very busy man who also serves as senior principal associate concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony) joined guest violinist Francesca dePasquale (a member of the music faculty at Rutgers and a protégé of Itzhak Perlman) here for an exemplary performance in which two violinists blended their distinctive qualities in perfect ensemble, while preserving their individual voices. The shadow of J.S. Bach’s short, lean keyboard works (e.g., the Inventions and many of the Preludes) loomed large here, with the two violins occasionally merging into striking—and, in this case, perfectly intoned—unisons.

DePasquale, a violinist we’d definitely love to hear more from, joined pianist Paul Nersessian, a member of the faculties of the Moscow Conservatory and Boston University, for Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1. Prokofiev launches this work with a lonely, piano-dominated first movement; hints of the composer’s contemporaneous ballet scores abound the second. But the most memorable of many moments arrived in the Andante third movement, in which a rippling piano part accompanies an aria for violin, presented with soaring but always clean lyricism by DePasquale.


Concert Review | The Strad

Francesca dePasquale (violin) Meng-Chieh Liu (piano) National Sawdust
April 6th, 2016

Biology doesn't fully explain dePasquale's admirable programming instincts, opening this recital (which launched her debut recording) with the challenging Chaconne from Bach's Second Partita. She was neither too flashy nor too fast, and her phrasing was immaculate and discreet, inviting the audience to contemplate the past in a cutting-edge, 21st-century room.

DePasquale plays her late father's violin (made in 1968 by Sergio Peresson)...its sound lent richness and a serious air to Schumann's Intermezzo from the F-A-E Sonata and her brilliant finale, Bartók's Rhapsody no. 1. Two high points came in the middle. The first was Messiaen's Thème et Variations, given a heroic reading with delectable intonation. The second was Paola Prestini's virtousic Oceanic Fantasy (violin and electronics), written for dePasquale.

The Strad

Album Review | The Wholenote

DePasquale has a beautiful tone and impressive technique. There’s a lovely reading of the Bach Partita No.2 in D Minor for Solo Violin, and a really strong extended melodic line in Messiaen’s Thème et Variations. Paola Prestini’s very effective Oceanic Fantasy for Solo Violin and Electronics, a 2015 commission from dePasquale, incorporates field recordings of southern Italian songs, although the work is almost entirely for violin alone, with Bach-like arpeggios and double-stopping and strong melody lines. The remaining works are the brief Schumann Intermezzo from the F.A.E. Sonata, Bartók’s Rhapsody No.1 and a simply gorgeous performance of Marietta’s Lied from Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt; there is a video of the recording session of the latter, along with audio samples of all the tracks on the CD, on dePasquale’s website. It’s well worth a visit

The Wholenote

Album Review | America Oggi

Listen to her "Partita No. 2" by J.S. Bach, at the opening of her Cd, and you know right away whom you're dealing with: this is why Francesca de Pasquale is Itzhak Perlman's protégé. Her technique is quite remarkable, very elegant; and she captures your soul immediately. A superb "virtuosa", Francesca penetrates very deeply in the music she reads for you. Belonging to a family of violinists and cellists, Francesca's sound is sincere and quite absorbing at the same time. A great pleasure is also listening her playing the other pages of this beautiful album (from Messiaen to Schumann, from Bartók to Korngold), but a special note deserves the "Oceanic Fantasy" by Paola Prestini, very surprising and moving with those Italian folk songs recorded on the field you can ear in the back ground.

Translation provided by Franco Borrelli.

America Oggi


Francesca dePasquale: Sincerity, intensity, with individual voice | Philadelphia Inquirer

Francesca dePasquale's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital debut Sunday afternoon was fascinating for all the things it wasn't, and, ultimately, for declaring all the things she isn't.

It was a wise move. Each piece, plucked from her recent CD, cast a light on a spectrum of strong qualities. Bach was most revealing, as Bach always is. The "Chaconne" from the Violin Partita in D Minor was respectably mature for a 26-year-old, nuanced in thoughtful ways, with well-developed character differentiation in each section. That dePasquale can seem emotionally exposed with no loss of security is a great gift.

Philadelphia Inquirer


Violinist Evokes Nature in Ethereal Concert | Reading Eagle

Violinist Francesca dePasquale returned to the stage of the WCR Center for the Arts Friday night for a concert, presented by the Friends of Chamber Music of Reading. Coming from a family of distinguished musicians...dePasquale could be expected to be talented. But dePasquale is much more than that; she is a stunning artist with her very own individual style, taste, and sound. 

When she stepped out to open her concert with J.S. Bach's "Ciaccona" from the Partita no. 2 in D minor, unaccompanied, from the first powerful attacks and subsequent full, glorious sound, the audience could tell they were in for an exciting ride. Her robust lower range and very sweet upper range sometimes produced the illusion of a duet during an enthralling performance of this great work, which was like a dramatic monologue throughout most of its length. Contemplation, praise, nobility, even some anger were projected through her acute bow work, which seemed to cut straight to the bone.

Reading Eagle


Francesca dePasquale keeps up the family musical tradition at Art Museum | Philadelphia Inquirer

The rest of the program, both on disc and in concert, is a highly personal, eclectic mixture of Bach, Bartók, and Korngold - again, nothing radical but hardly typical. Mentors such as Itzhak Perlman never cautioned her to play it safe. Not that it would do any good with this strong-minded musician. She was questioned, though, about including Bach's famous Partita No. 2 - widely considered advanced adult music. But she would not be stopped, and the performance is in many ways a calling card for her musical values.

Though many violinists grapple more aggressively with the grand architectural edifice sketched out by the unaccompanied violin, dePasquale exhibits great care for the actual sound of the piece. Distinctive indeed. One could even say it sounds like nothing else and establishes her as an evolved musical personality. 

Philadelphia Inquirer


Annenberg Fund Awards Fellowships to Seven Young Artists | NY Times

The fellowships, which are expected to be announced on Tuesday, are for “young artists of exceptional promise,” and include grants of $50,000 a year for up to two years. The fund maintains partnerships with several schools and arts organizations – among them, the Metropolitan Opera, the Yale School of Drama, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Ballet Theater – which recommend potential recipients of the fellowships.

Francesca dePasquale, a violinist from a family of string players (her mother is a cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra; her father was that ensemble’s concertmaster for many years), who is currently Itzhak Perlman’s teaching assistant at the Juilliard School, where she is completing her master’s degree. 

New York Times


Big financial boost for seven young artists | Philadelphia Inquirer

Violinist Francesca Rose dePasquale would seem to be well on her way: She was born into one of Philadelphia's foremost classical-music dynasties, is finishing her master's degree at the Juilliard School of Music, and is both a student of and teaching assistant to none other than superstar Itzhak Perlman.

Yet the career machinery that once waited for promising musicians such as herself only half exists these days. That's why the 24-year-old is a grateful recipient of a grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts, to be announced Tuesday: Hers is an era of do-it-yourself careers.

Philadelphia Inquirer

No Starving Artists Here | Philadelphia Daily News

The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts alleviates some of those pressures. Named for the late philanthropist, the fellowship, now in its seventh year, partners with renowned arts organizations and institutions to award $50,000 a year for up to two years to exceptional young dancers, musicians, actors and visual artists as they segue into their professional lives as artists.

"I think the foundation made a great choice," Toby Perlman said. "Francesca is something out of this world, an elegant, charming, lovely creature. Yes, she's a terrific fiddle player, but she's very special. She's lucky, but she made her own luck. I think that she'll maximize this opportunity.

Philadelphia Daily News

New Artist of the Month | MusicalAmerica

NEW YORK--Much of the fun of student concerts is in spotting future stars of the concert stage. A light bulb went on last November 25 when Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic, led the Juilliard Orchestra in an all- Shostakovich concert at Alice Tully Hall. A glance at the players’ roster elicited an instant spotlight of recognition: Francesca Rose dePasquale Concertmaster.

DePasquale’s rich, expressive playing at that concert captured every mood, from pathos to acerbity, her pitch centered firmly in each note.

Talking with her a month later at the Juilliard School, where she studies with Catherine Cho and Itzhak Perlman and will graduate in May with a Master of Music degree, she revealed herself to be a well-spoken, mature, and thoughtful young musician. She is as aware of the dilemmas facing a career in today’s economically turbulent classical-music world as she has command of her violin. Moreover, her remarkable background has endowed her with the perception and drive that appears certain to lead to an exceptional career.

Perlman’s appreciation of his receptive student is clear: “The first word that comes to mind is ‘classic.’ She’s a classy young lady, a beautiful musician, very artistic. It’s interesting that her personality and music-making are very integrated, which is not always the case. When we work together, we talk about music on a very high level, and she absorbs. She’s remarkable.”


Santa Cruz Symphony - Transcendence! | Peninsula Reviews

The best was yet to come. Out on stage came the lovely young violinist, Francesca dePasquale, to perform the Bruch G Minor Violin Concerto. Her biographical information in the printed program described the usual competitions and early appearances with orchestras that are found in the bios of so many young violinists. We also learned that she is a master’s degree candidate at the Juilliard School studying with Itzhak Perlman. But when she touched her bow to strings in her opening solo, we heard the sound of a mature artist fully formed at a young age and equal to any challenge. Magnificent intonation, even in harmonics and octaves, gorgeous control of dynamics and a big gutsy sound that soared at times and whispered at others completely won us over. Her lovely shaping of melodies in the slow movement was creamy smooth and utterly natural. The climax of the movement gave me goose bumps. The last movement was a knockout and earned her a prolonged standing ovation.

Peninsula Reviews