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Francesca Manheim, Second Violin

Francesca started Suzuki violin at the age of three. As a soloist in Carol Sykes' Suzuki Ensemble they won the Kiwanis Canadian Ensemble Prize and later she was awarded the 1981 Cape Cod Symphony Scholarship. Francesca received her bachelor's degree from New England Conservatory in May 1990 where she played in masterclasses with Dorothy Delay. Her second year of NEC she performed with the Colorado String Quartet and Jean-Pierre Rampal in Woods Hole, MA. In August 1990 she went on to play with the New World Symphony directed by Michael Tilson Thomas for two years. They toured Japan and United Kingdom and the string quartet she played in at NWS was chosen for performances in Miami, New York and Montana. Francesca has enjoyed other chamber music experiences including Kent/Blossom Chamber Music Festival led by Cleveland Orchestra; Kansas City Chamber Orchestra from 1994 until 2015; and was a member of the Brookside String Quartet for over 12 years. Orchestral experiences include Naples Philharmonic from Fall 1992 to spring 1993; National Repertory Orchestra in Summer 1988; Colorado Music Festival, Summer 1993. Throughout her Orchestral career she enjoyed playing under conductors Eiji Oue, Otto Werner-Mueller, Christoff Dochnyani, Leonard Slatkin, Sir George Solti, and Joseph Silverstein.

Ten questions about me:

Who do you consider is the most inspiring composer?

There are so many! But I find Brahms to be inspiring because I can almost sense his depth of emotion in the music before I even play it. His sense of texture, and/or harmonies, and rhythm command a certain atmosphere or emotion.

Which composer would you most like to have dinner with? And what would you serve or where would you eat?

Fritz Kreisler. I would serve goulash and Dobos torte.

Do you have a favorite composition you like to play, or listen to?

I love playing any of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonies. His “Vocalise” speaks to my heart.

If someone made a movie of your life, would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film or science film? Who would you play in this movie?

Drama; I would be the supporting actor.

Tell us what it's like to be part of the Symphony:

It’s like expressing a language, together with a group of people, something that a composer wants to convey to people listening.

If I weren't a professional musician, my occupation would be:

I would be a Wellness Coach. I am interested in all kinds of holistic health and would love to be able to assist in finding solutions that can help people feel better.

When you were young, did you enjoy practicing?

I enjoyed practicing until I became a teenager and then later I liked practicing for performances but not so much for auditions.

What is the most challenging work for your instrument?

I could easily say Paganini Caprices, but what I think is the most challenging is to make Mozart sound good. It’s difficult to sound polished and beautiful in many of his pieces.

What is a "must-have" in your fridge?


What do you consider your greatest musical accomplishment?

I made a recording of some Hungarian folk music for violin and piano.