Facing the music: Francesca Dego

Vinyl or digital?

I’m addicted to the limitless access that online streaming and download platforms provide, but nothing gives me goosebumps like witnessing the actual moment music happens.

What was the last piece of music you bought?

I’ve just bought the score of the Busoni violin concerto. It’s a spectacular piece of music, sadly neglected, and I’d be delighted to learn it and reintroduce it to today’s audiences.

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasures are usually not musical! Does not practising count? I’ve gone on holiday a couple of times without my violin and although I try to convince myself that bringing it would have been useless, because sunbathing and practising don’t coexist well, guilt usually strikes after a couple of days.

If you had time learn a new instrument, what would it be?

I would learn to sing. The Italian opera tradition, especially as to how it relates to phrasing on the violin, inspires me enormously.

Did you ever consider a career outside of music? Doing what?

My father is a writer, and literature has always been my other great passion so it would probably have been my alternative course of studies. I am an avid reader and I think nothing is more stimulating than to immerse myself in the cultural and artistic background of a composer whose music I’m studying. When I first performed Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No 1, I discovered that one of his greatest literary inspirations was Mikhail Zoshchenko, an author I didn’t know. I ordered his short stories and was completely entranced. It was a bit like joining Shostakovich’s book club!

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