Frances-Marie studied with Leslie Parnas and George Neikrug in the USA and with Andre Navarra in Europe. Since commencing her solo career at the age of 13 she has won numerous prizes, including the Ford Foundation Award, and has had many works dedicated to her. Amongst these is Jonathan Harvey’s Cello Concerto, which she premiered in 1991 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
As a composer herself, she dedicated much of her time to the performance of new music, and premiered between 25 and 50 works by younger composers each year. She simultaneously specialised in music for solo cello spanning back to the seventeenth century. Her technique of playing three or four part polyphony using two bows in one hand has been employed in compositions by Nono, Kurtag and Bussotti.