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. He performed on the celebrated "Hart" Stradivarius of 1727, which he sold upon his retirement and established the Zino Francescatti Foundation in La Ciotat to assist young violinists. In 1987 an International violin competition was organized in his honor in Aix-en-Provence. He died in La Ciotat, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France at the age of 89. Read more on Last.fm.
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