Zino Francescatti was a violin prodigy, known in the world's concert halls for his lyricism and eloquence and who in his prime performed about 120 concerts a year.
He died at his home in France at age 89.
He was born Rene-Charles Francescatti in Marseilles in 1902, the son of professional musicians. His father, Fortune, had studied and worked with a violinist known as "Sivori," who was the only pupil the legendary Italian composer and violinist Nicolo Paganini ever had. Through his father, the Paganini romantic tradition was passed to young Francescatti.
Francescatti, who took the name Zino early in his career, made his debut at age 10 with a full symphony orchestra.
He mastered works by such contemporaries as Leonard Bernstein, Darius Milhaud and Ottorino Respighi, and toured with pianist-composer Robert Casadesus, performing the sonatas of Claude Debussy and Cesar Franck.
At his peak, he set a whirlwind pace, flying from Europe to America for performances with most of the world's symphony orchestras. By 1974, he had performed 84 times in 24 seasons with the New York Philharmonic, 68 appearances in 16 seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra, 30 in 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh and 19 in seven seasons with the Los Angeles orchestras.
His conductors included Bruno Walter, Herbert von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, Dimitri Mitropoulos and Pierre Boulez.
"To play an instrument with a bow and to keep the sound beautiful is so difficult after 70," he said in 1974.