Thursday, February 23, 2012

Some Fanciful Favorites

In addition to starting this blog and creating my website, one of the things that kept me entertained while recovering from pneumonia the last month was a significant increase in my online shopping perusal! Some of my favorite online boutiques include modcloth, ruche, spotted moth, and chloe loves charlie. Though I tried to restrain myself from splurging too much, I couldn't resist adding these pieces to my wardrobe.

1. Blouse from Modcloth. It's hard to tell, but this sheer blouse has a small, polka-dotted print
2. Blouse from Spotted Moth. I absolutely love the trend in animal prints--I may or may not already own a BCBGeneration romper that has a dreamy print of greyhounds.
3. Skirt from Modcloth. The suede fabric gives the blue color an incredible richness.
4. Madden Girl booties from DSW. I've been pairing these boots with thick tights, cute dresses, and jeans almost non-stop since their purchase (and since I regained the physical strength to traipse around in heels!).

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved personal expression through unique and creative details. Personal style is just one more way to experiment with who we are and how we portray ourselves to the world. And it's always fun to have a few new things to show who we are!

Until next time,

New Website!

Happy Thursday! I'm very excited to announce that my website is finally finished and online! Check it out at Instant Encore is an amazing web-builder site that many classical musicians are using. They offer easy to use design templates (which you can modify a bit, as I did) with pages for biographies, concert listings, repertoire lists, music and video files, photos, press kits, and contact information. You can also add pages for any additional information you want to include--I added one for my thoughts on community engagement. On top of everything, Instant Encore offers all of this and super friendly tech support for free! Check out for more details.

If you feel so inclined, please link my website on your blog, website, facebook, or twitter to improve my search engine results. Thanks!

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency

Over winter break, I traveled to Sarasota, Florida for The Perlman Music Program Winter Residency. For those of you who are not familiar with the program, PMP is the creation of Toby Lynn Perlman, wife of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. Through the "Littles" summer program, chamber music workshop, Sarasota residency, and countless other mini-residencies and performances, Mrs. Perlman (known affectionately throughout the community as "Mrs. P") realized her dream of creating a learning environment for young, classical musicians that is based wholly on support and love.

The Sarasota program mimics the "Littles" summer program schedule: 4 hours of individual practice in the morning, additional practicing, private lessons, chamber music rehearsals, coachings, and chorus in the afternoon, and string orchestra rehearsals in the evening. In addition to their weekly lessons and chamber music coachings, students perform with their chamber music groups and have the option to perform solo music on the "Works in Progress" concerts, which take place throughout the two weeks. Some additional highlights included trips to the beach, amazing food, and sight-reading Beethoven string quartets with Paul Katz until well past midnight!

View from Marina Jacks

Beach at Marina Jacks

In the classical music world, the pressure to succeed at a young age seems to grow constantly, superseding the importance of growth and development. By taking steps to eliminate competition, such as rotated seating in orchestra between every movement and equal performance opportunities, PMP focuses on nurturing each and every one of its students during a crucial period of musical and personal development. The result is learning with overwhelming depth and clarity in a community filled with so much love and support that it is practically a living, breathing entity. I am so grateful that I was able to attend the chamber music workshop and winter residency, meet so many amazing and talented young musicians, work with incredible faculty, and become apart of the PMP community! For more information, visit the PMP website.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Photos by Alexandra DeFurio

When searching for a Los Angeles based photographer to take some new publicity shots, I wanted to find someone who would go beyond the stereotypical posed headshot in front of a backdrop. Through the blog mlovesm, I found the amazing photographer Alexandra DeFurio. Alexandra's photos not only have a unique, artistic quality, but also incredible depth and softness. On top of being a wonderful photographer, Alexandra is also incredibly sweet and open. These photos were taken at Temescal Canyon and Venice Beach, with hair and makeup by Jill Pugh.

Needless to say, I absolutely love how the photos turned out! A big thank you to Alexandra and Jill for their amazing work.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Exciting News!

This has been an incredibly exciting week for me. I've had the great pleasure of working with renowned pianist Robert Levin this week for our Colburn Chamber Music Society performance of Haydn Piano Trio in C Major HOB 27, 3:00PM this Sunday February 19 at The Colburn School. Additionally, it was announced that my performance of Dvorak Violin Concerto will be broadcasted on the Los Angeles TV station KCET March 1 at 9:00PM! For  the official press release, click here.

Last but certainly not least, I have passed the DVD pre-selection round and am a quarter-finalist for the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition! The competition will take place April 30-May 29 in Brussels. For more information on the competition, visit the official website.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Belated Valentine's DIY

This post is a couple of days late, as I spent the majority of Valentine's day on a plane traveling from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Today also marks my parents' anniversary, so a post on a sweet gift idea is definitely still appropriate!

In favor of a gift that is not mass-marketed, I found inspiration on Pinterest for a personal and creative DIY project. In our three years together, my boyfriend and I have been lucky enough to travel to some beautiful places. After finding maps of California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Italy, and Romania, I stitched our travel routes with red thread and framed the compilation.

Working on the Romania map [note the down comforter--this
was definitely a project that kept my mind off of being sick!]

The finished product

What can I say, I'm a sentimental romantic at heart. Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Until next time,

Monday, February 13, 2012

My first post!

Hello and welcome to my first blog post! As mentioned here, my name is Francesca dePasquale and I am a classical violinist. I am currently twenty-two years old and an undergraduate student at The Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California. As a musician, I am committed to balancing the realization of compositions with my own personality and interpretations. By documenting my growth as a musician as well as my other interests, this blog will reflect who I am as a person, violinist, and musician.

Unfortunately, for the last few weeks I have not been able to focus on practicing and performing as much as I would like to. A particularly bad case of the flu turned into pneumonia, which means I have been spending most of my time resting and trying to recover. For better or for worse, this much down time means that my brain has been working overtime thinking of blog-worthy topics and ideas for my new website! Some things to look forward to:

  • A post on my amazing experience at The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency
  • A post featuring my favorite cupcake recipe. I have come to love baking as a way to unwind and bring people together, not to mention the fact that I have a pretty big sweet tooth and how much fun it is to come up with different flavor combinations!
  • A post on a personal Valentine's Day DIY project
  • A post sharing my experience with playing-related injury and my recovery
  • A post on the incredible photographer Alexandra DeFurio
  • And finally...a post introducing you to these guys:

    I'm looking forward to sharing with you and thank you for stopping by!

    Until next time,