42 Facts About Jascha Heifetz


Jascha Heifetz is widely regarded as one of the greatest violinists of all time.


Late in life, Jascha Heifetz was known as a dedicated teacher and a champion of socio-political causes.


Jascha Heifetz was born into a Lithuanian-Jewish family in Vilnius.


Jascha Heifetz's father, Reuven Heifetz, was a local violin teacher and served as the concertmaster of the Vilnius Theatre Orchestra for one season before the theatre closed down.


At four years old, Jascha Heifetz started violin lessons with Elias Malkin.


Jascha Heifetz visited much of Europe while still in his teens.


On October 27,1917, Jascha Heifetz played for the first time in the United States, at Carnegie Hall in New York, and became an immediate sensation.


In 1917, Jascha Heifetz was elected an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music, by the fraternity's Alpha chapter at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.


Jascha Heifetz remained in the country and became an American citizen in 1925.


In 1954, Jascha Heifetz began working with pianist Brooks Smith, who was Jascha Heifetz's accompanist for many years until he changed to Ayke Agus as his accompanist in retirement.


Jascha Heifetz was accompanied in concert for more than 20 years by Emanuel Bay, another immigrant from Russia and a personal friend.


Jascha Heifetz's musicianship was such that he would demonstrate to his accompanist how he wanted passages to sound on the piano, and would even suggest which fingerings to use.


Jascha Heifetz was invited to play Beethoven at the United Nations General Assembly, and entered leaning on a cane.


Jascha Heifetz was "regarded as the greatest violin virtuoso since Paganini", wrote Lois Timnick of the Los Angeles Times.


Jascha Heifetz used a silver-wound Tricolore gut G string, plain unvarnished gut D and A strings, and a Goldbrokat medium steel E string, and employed clear Hill-brand rosin sparingly.


Jascha Heifetz believed that playing on gut strings was important in rendering an individual sound.


On October 28,1927, Jascha Heifetz was the starring act at the grand opening of Tucson, Arizona's now-historic Temple of Music and Art.


Jascha Heifetz recorded some string quintets with violinist Israel Baker, violists William Primrose and Virginia Majewski, and Piatigorsky.


Jascha Heifetz recorded the Beethoven Violin Concerto in 1940 with the NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arturo Toscanini, and again in stereo in 1955 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Munch.


Jascha Heifetz performed and recorded Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Violin Concerto at a time when Korngold's scoring of films for Warner Bros.


Jascha Heifetz arranged a number of pieces, such as Hora Staccato by Grigoras Dinicu, a Romanian whom Heifetz is rumoured to have called the greatest violinist he had ever heard.


Jascha Heifetz performed mess hall jazz for soldiers at Allied camps across Europe during the Second World War, and under the alias Jim Hoyl he wrote a hit song, "When You Make Love to Me ", which was sung by Bing Crosby.


From 1944 to 1946, largely as a result of the American Federation of Musicians recording ban, Jascha Heifetz recorded with American Decca because the company settled with the union in 1943, well before RCA Victor resolved their dispute with the musicians.


Jascha Heifetz recorded primarily short pieces, including his own arrangements of music by George Gershwin and Stephen Foster; these were pieces he often played as encores in his recitals.


Jascha Heifetz was accompanied on the piano by Emanuel Bay or Milton Kaye.


Jascha Heifetz soon returned to RCA Victor, where he continued to make recordings until the early 1970s.


On his third tour to Israel in 1953, Jascha Heifetz included the Violin Sonata by Richard Strauss in his recitals.


The incident made headlines and Jascha Heifetz defiantly announced that he would not stop playing the Strauss.


Jascha Heifetz left Israel and did not return until 1970.


Jascha Heifetz greatly criticized the Soviet regime, and condemned the International Tchaikovsky Competition for bias against Western competitors.


Jascha Heifetz taught the violin extensively, holding master classes first at UCLA, then at the University of Southern California, where the faculty included renowned cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and violist William Primrose.


Jascha Heifetz's teaching studio can be seen today in the main building of the Colburn School and serves as an inspiration to the students there.


Jascha Heifetz died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on December 10,1987, at the age of 86 following a fall in his home.


Jascha Heifetz owned the 1714 Dolphin Stradivarius, the 1731 "Piel" Stradivarius, the 1736 Carlo Tononi, and the 1742 ex David Guarneri del Gesu, the last of which he preferred and kept until his death.


Violinist Kloss wrote Jascha Heifetz Through My Eyes, and is a co-founder of the Jascha Heifetz Society.


In 1989, Jascha Heifetz received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Jascha Heifetz was formerly head of marketing for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl, and the chief financial officer of Paramount Pictures' Worldwide Video Division.


Jascha Heifetz's daughter, Josefa Jascha Heifetz Byrne, is a lexicographer, the author of the Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words.


Jascha Heifetz's great-niece is famed clarinetist, formerly of the LA Philharmonic, Michele Zukovsky.


Jascha Heifetz played himself, stepping in to save a music school for poor children from foreclosure.


Jascha Heifetz later appeared in the film, Carnegie Hall, performing an abridged version of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with the orchestra led by Fritz Reiner, and consoling the star of the picture, who had watched his performance.


Jascha Heifetz conducted the orchestra, as the surviving video recording documents.