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Zino Francescatti


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René-Charles Francescatti, known as Zino Francescatti (August 9, 1902 - September 17, 1991) was a French virtuoso violinist.

Zino Francescatti was born in Marseilles, to a musical family. Both parents were violinists. His father had studied with Camillo Sivori, and also played the cello. Zino studied violin from age three, and was quickly recognized as a child prodigy. He began performing at the age of five and made his debut playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at age 10.

In 1927, he went to Paris to teach at the École Normale de Musique and also conducted the Concerts Poulets. He made his first world tour in 1931 and his American debut with with John Barbirolli and the New York Philharmonic in 1939 playing the Violin Concerto No. 1 by the composer with whose name he became especially associated, Paganini - his recording of the concerto is still regarded as one of the best ever made. At the end of World War II in 1945, he pursued an outstanding international career until his retirement in 1976.

In addition to being a great technique violinist, he also was capable of playing all of the great concerti. His performances of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and others, are highly regarded.

Francescatti made many renowned recordings, including the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano with Robert Casadesus.

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