Joseph de Pasquale, who died on June 22, was 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 set a standard for excellence in viola playing.
In Boston, he met a striking blonde named Maria – a descendant of both Napoleon’s first wife, Josephine, and Czar Nicholas I of Russia. She had come to the United States to be personal secretary to Koussevitzky, her uncle, and renounced her title of duchess in 1949 to become a citizen and wed Mr. de Pasquale. She died in 2005.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, June 23