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Vera Franceschi (1926 - 1966)

Vera Franceschi was born in San Francisco on 5th May, 1926. She studied with Carlo Zecchi, Alfredo Casella, and Germano Arnaldi at the Santa Cecilia Accademia at Rome, graduating in 1939. She then attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York studying with Harold Bauer and Carl Friedberg. Franceschi made her Paris début in 1939, her Milan début in 1940, and first appeared with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Pierre Monteux in 1948. So impressed with her pianistic abilities was Monteux that he took her on as his protégée and conducted her performances in Chicago and New York. In 1957 Franceschi married the baritone Daniele Barioni. The discovery of a tumour eventually led to her early death from cancer in 1966. Franceschi recorded for Italian Parlophone, CETRA/Soria, and Westminster. Her performances showed an ease of execution, a musicality, and interpretative playfulness rarely heard from young performers. The delightful La Ronda d’Aprile by Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli she recorded shortly after her 21st birthday.


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