About Jascha Heifetz

Biog­ra­phy

Jascha Heifetz, widely regarded as one of the great­est per­form­ing artists of all time, was born in Vil­nius, Lithua­nia, which was then occu­pied by Rus­sia, on Feb­ru­ary 2, 1901. He made his for­mal pub­lic debut at the age of eight in the nearby city of Kau­nas (then known as Kovno).

With only brief sab­bat­i­cals, he per­formed in pub­lic for the next 65 years, estab­lish­ing an unpar­al­leled stan­dard to which vio­lin­ists around the world still aspire.

Read Biog­ra­phy of Jascha Heifetz

The War Years

In a U.S. Army hos­pi­tal in Italy, a vio­lin­ist dressed in mil­i­tary uni­form entered a ward to play for GI’s wounded in the ongo­ing bat­tles of World War II. A boy who had lost his right arm tried to applaud in the air with his left hand. The vio­lin­ist was momen­tar­ily shocked.

He gazed at the smil­ing boy clap­ping the air, and then – his face illu­mi­nated with com­pas­sion and sen­si­tiv­ity – raised his vio­lin and played.

Read The Heifetz War Years

Vio­lin­ist Nonpareil

The tri­umphs of Jascha Heifetz are well known: first pub­lic per­for­mance in his home­town of Vil­nius, Lithua­nia (then occu­pied by Rus­sia) at the age of 5; Berlin Phil­har­monic debut at the age of 11; one of the most mem­o­rable debuts in the annals of Carnegie Hall at the age of 16; fol­lowed by tours, long before the ease of air travel, to the far reaches of the world: Japan, Aus­tralia, South Amer­ica, India, the Mid­dle East, and beyond—conquering audi­ences wher­ever he went. In all, he had a pub­lic career last­ing some 65 years.

Read Jascha Heifetz — Vio­lin­ist Nonpareil

Quo­ta­tions

Through­out his career, Jascha Heifetz was known for many wise, amus­ing, and occa­sion­ally per­plex­ing state­ments that were reported in the press, or shared with fam­ily mem­bers, audi­ences, and students.

Here are some of the most mem­o­rable ones.

Read Jascha Heifetz quotations