Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Father

I've been attempting to write this post for quite a few days now. I keep re-writing, but despite my efforts putting what has happened into words is exceedingly difficult.

On April 8, 2012 my father passed away. A cancer patient for 13 years, things finally took a turn for the worst in the last month of his life. Beginning the day after my audition for Juilliard, my father underwent 4 surgeries in 8 days. The plan was that, with chemotherapy, he could expect 6-12 months. Unfortunately, he never recovered enough from his surgeries to begin chemotherapy and in that time, the cancer went rampant. He died from respiratory failure on Easter Sunday, while listening to a recording of the Bach C Major Sonata Adagio from my senior recital.

I'm not sure if I can ever put into words just how special of a man my father was, nor could I adequately explain how close we were.

In light of what has happened, I have withdrawn from the Queen Elisabeth competition. I have not been able to practice for the last two weeks and I simply can't go to a competition of this magnitude knowing that I am not as prepared as I should be. In one of our last phone conversations, my father vehemently told me that my decision about the competition in no way changes how proud he was of me. It's difficult to let go of something I have been planning and preparing for over the better part of a year, especially when I fought so hard to continue practicing despite the emotional turmoil of my father's illness. At the end of the day, I know that there will be many competitions and opportunities in the future. The death of your father only happens once in your lifetime.

Below are his obituary from The Philadelphia Inquirer, an article from The Strad magazine, a dedicated blog post, and a slideshow featuring photos alongside his live performance recording of Dvorak Romance with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

To the overwhelming amount of people who attended his services and the endless proclamations of love, support, respect, and sorrow--thank you.

To my father, I thank you for twenty-two years of indescribable love and support. I am so lucky to have had such a meaningful and beautiful relationship with someone as unique and extraordinary as you. You taught me to be strong and I promise you that I will be. I love you and will miss you every day, but I am glad you are no longer suffering. It still doesn't seem real...and part of me believes that it seems that way because you will always be with me. Rest in peace.

Slideshow in remembrance of William J. dePasquale
July 15, 1933-April 8, 2012


  1. So beautiful. This brought tears to my eyes. I always loved talking to Uncle Bill and he helped me in so many ways. I'll never forget him.. Love, Debbie

  2. I remember the times when I came into your parents house to paint and your dad would have greeted me with (hey paesano) I always look forward to those days because work wasn't work. Simply put to have listen to Bill teaching his students was a joy. Truly a master with the vilion.
    Francesca Your father will always live on thru your music...

    Nick Capobianco