Joseph de Pasquale, who died Monday at age 95, was the principal violist of two of America's golden-age ensembles: the Boston Symphony Orchestra, from 1947 to 1964, and then, sitting alongside three of his brothers, the Philadelphia Orchestra, from 1964 until retirement in 1996. He is credited with raising the standard of viola playing. (Courtesy of the Curtis Archives)
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Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Joseph de Pasquale was a student of Louis Bailly, Max Aronoff and William Primrose at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was the principal violist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1947 to 1964, and later the Philadelphia Orchestra.
He performed and recorded with Angelin Chang, Jascha Heifetz, Ruggiero Ricci, Isaac Stern, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Anshel Brusilow, among others. He also premiered several important compositions of the viola repertoire, including the Viola Concerto by Walter Piston and the Viola Sonata by George Rochberg, and recorded for the RCA, Sony, Boston, Albany Records, and Decca labels.