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Frances DeBroff

violin, viola

Frances DeBroff is a violinist and violist, who in 1948, at the age of ten, was the first concertmaster of Marie Maazel's Pittsburgh Symphony Youth Orchestra. Throughout her teenage years and as a young woman, she studied with Russian-born violinist Misha Mishakoff, the concertmaster of Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra. DeBroff spent her summers studying at the Chautauqua Institute.

After receiving a BA degree from the University of Pittsburgh, she went on to teach inner city high school math and science and started raising her family. She has performed with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra. She performs regularly with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra.

Frances DeBroff has been president of Pittsburgh Symphony Association, a board member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, as well as a former board member of Pittsburgh Symphony. She has been the founder of two statewide violin competitions for the National Society of Arts and Letters. Mrs. DeBroff has also commissioned Morton Gould to write two compositions for youth orchestras and young audiences, including the runaway hit "The Jogger and the Dinosaur".

In 1983, she began the St. Barts Music Festival, a classical chamber series that over the years has included modern and balletic dance, jazz, opera, theatrical music events, and story presentations by Susan and Leonard Nimoy. Frances has taken the St. Barts Music Festival musicians on tour throughout the USA, to France, to Morocco, and to other Caribbean islands within the French Antilles. In December of 2011, she was awarded the French cultural medal of Chevalier for her continued work to promote her love of classical music.