Zino Francescatti (René-Charles Francescatti) was a French violinist born on August 9, 1902.  Both of his parents were violinists - his father had even been a pupil of Camillo Sivori, a pupil of Nicolo Paganini. Francescatti began to study violin at age 3 and made his public debut with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at age 10.  

Prior to 1927, Francescatti briefly undertook a career in Law but gave that up when his father died, leaving the family in a precarious financial situation. Before transitioning into a successful solo career, he taught at the National School of Music in Paris (where other teachers included Alfred Cortot, Pablo Casals, Paul Dukas, Arthur Honneger, and Nadia Boulanger.) He also played in the Concerts Poulets Orchestra as assistant concertmaster.

Francescatti made his first world tour in 1931. His U.S. debut took place in New York in 1939. He played Paganini’s Violin Concerto no 1 in D on that occasion. From then on (except for the War years), he concertized and recorded until his retirement in 1976.

His sound was not thin and focused but rather ample and broad and warm (especially well-suited for the Romantic repertoire) and his technique was magnificent. All of his recordings – among which are all the Beethoven Sonatas - are highly regarded. Several videos of Francescatti at work are posted on YouTube.

One of the violins he owned was the Hart Stradivarius of 1727, now owned by Salvatore Accardo.

Francescatti died on September 17, 1991, at age 89.
This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 21 Nov 2010
violinhunter - 6 Jun 2009
violinhunter - 2 Jun 2009
violinhunter - 2 Jun 2009