JASCHA HEIFETZ Biography  •  Works

For 83 of his 86 years, Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987) played the violin, and for over 60 of them in front of audiences the length and breadth of the world. Since his first public concert in St. Petersburg on April 30, 1911, he exposed his art to the world through more than 2,000,000 miles of travel (much of it in front of World War II troops), a prodigious recording program, countless appearances on radio, in several films, an hour-long television special and, for a dozen years, a vigorous teaching schedule.

He started to play on a quarter-sized violin given to him by his father in his native city of Vilna, Russia (now called Vilnius, Lithuania), and at age seven made his public debut in Kovno (now known as Kaunas, Lithuania). He entered Leopold Auer's famous class in St. Petersburg at age nine and in three years was acclaimed a child prodigy of unexampled gifts.

In the years following his St. Petersburg debut, he concertized in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia, and when the Russian Revolution broke out, the family, after many difficulties, traveled to America. Heifetz made his debut in Carnegie Hall on October 27, 1917. The noted critic Samuel Chotzinoff reported: "The 16-year-old violinist seemed the most unconcerned of all the people in the hall as he walked out on the stage and proceeded to give an exhibition of such extraordinary virtuosity and musicianship as had not previously been heard in that historic auditorium." Overnight, Heifetz became the musical idol of America, and during that first year he made 30 appearances in New York alone.

He soon adopted the United States, became an American citizen in 1925 and amply sampled the "American way." In the '40s he settled into a comfortable house atop one of the Beverly Hills in California, where he lived until his death.

When Heifetz reached his 60s, after half a century of concertizing, he began to curtail his appearances gradually and gave his last public recital in 1972. He devoted his later life to teaching. Handling his students with steel-rod control tempered with humor, Heifetz instilled in them respect for discipline ("It's something you have to do, so you might as well do it and get it over with") and the ways and means for making music with the violin.

Throughout his life, Heifetz was known for his flawless technical style. He was even accused of sounding formal and mechanical, which also reflected his austere personality. But the fierce virtuoso never faltered, even into his 70s, and ended up recording more than 80 albums in his lifetime. He even wrote a pop song under the pseudonym Jim Hoyl called "When You Make Love To Me (Don't Make Believe)," sung by Margaret Whiting.

Heifetz received many honors in his lifetime for his hard work and talent. He was even made an officer of the French Legion, an award stemming from the many charity recitals he performed in France. Heifetz also received countless Grammy Awards, including the elusive Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989, and was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Jascha Heifetz Collections in the Carl Fischer Catalogue

The Heifetz Collection for Violin and Piano
Volume 1 — ATF116
"Transcriptions and Cadenzas"
Caprice Viennois
Tambourin Chinois
Schðn Rosmarin
La Gitana
Variations on a theme by Corelli
Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane
Sicilienne and Rigaudon
Praeludium and Allegro
Song without Words
Slavonic Dance
Spanish Dance
Danse Espagnole
Volume 2 — ATF134
"Heifetz Plays Gershwin"
An American in Paris
SummerTime and A Woman Is a Sometime Thing
My Man's Gone Now
It Ain't Necessarily So
Bess, You Is My Woman Now
Tempo di Blues
Three Preludes for Piano
Volume 3 — ATF142
"Arrangements and Transcriptions"
Ritmo di Tango
La chevelure
Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Le Petit Ane blanc
Chicken Song
Promenade a pied
Along the Silent Forest Path
Jascha Heifetz Arrangements in the Carl Fischer Catalog
All are arranged by Jascha Heifetz, with additional notations
Joseph Achron
Hebrew Lullaby (Op. 35, No. 2) (ed. Heifetz) B2335 $9.99
Hebrew Melody (Op. 33) (rev., ed. Heifetz) B2444 $10.99
Isaac Albeniz
El Puerto from Iberia B2360 $12.99
Sevilla from Suite Español B2234 $12.99
Joseph Alkan
Barcarolle from Troisieme recueil de chants, Op. 65, No. 6 B3378 $9.99
Johann Sebastian Bach
Air from Suite No. 3, BWV 1068 B2737 $9.99
Gavotte and Musette from English Suite No. 3, BWV 808 B2311 $12.99
Sarabande from English Suite No. 3, BWV 808 B2310 $9.99
Sarabande from English Suite No. 6, BWV 811 B2401 $9.99
Ludwig van Beethoven
Contra-Dance (No. 1) B2704 $10.99
Alexander Borodin
Sérénade from Petite Suite B2687 $9.99
Johannes Brahms
Contemplation (Wie Melodien zieht es mir) B2432 $9.99
Hungarian Dance No. 7 (trans. Joseph Joachim / ed. Heifetz) B2437 $9.99
Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco
Ritmo di Tango B3252 $10.99
Claude Debussy
Beau Soir B2331 $9.99
La Chevelure from Chansons de Bilitis B2799 $9.99
L’Apres-Midi d’un Faune (Extrait du Préludes) B2241 $12.99
La Puerta Del Vino from Preludes, Book II B3377 $10.99
Grigoras Dinicu
Hora Staccato (Roumanian) B2224 $9.50
Richard Drigo
Valse Bluette (Air de Ballet) (trans., ed. Heifetz) B2439 $9.99
Antonin Dvorak
Humoreske (trans. Heifetz) B2406 $7.95
Edward Elgar
La Capricieuse (Morceau De Genre) (ed. Heifetz) B2443 $10.99
Stephen Foster
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair B2491 $9.99
Old Folks at Home B2492 $9.99
Alexander Glazunoff
Méditation (Op. 32) (ed. Heifetz) B2442 $9.99
Christopf Willibald von Gluck
Sonata from Trio Sonata No. 2 in G Minor B2653 $10.99
Leopold Godowsky
Alt-Wien from Triakontameron B2257 $9.99
Louis Kroll
Perpetual Motion (rev. Heifetz) B2484 $12.99
Felix Mendelssohn
On Wings of Song (Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, Op. 34, No. 2)
     (arr. Joseph Achron / ed. Heifetz)
B2435 $10.99
Scherzo from Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61 B2612 $14.99
Scherzo from Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49 B2626 $12.99
Sweet Remembrance from Songs Without Words, Op. 19, No. 1 B3255 $9.99
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Allegro Molto from String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 B2739 $14.99
Menuet from Divertimento No. 17 in D Major, K. 334 (trans., ed. Heifetz) B2434 $10.99
Menuetto from String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 B2740 $9.99
Manuel Ponce
Estrellita (My Little Star), Mexican Serenade (trans. Heifetz) B2141 $8.50
David Popper
Fileuse (Spinning Song, Op. 55, No. 1) (rev., ed. Heifetz) B2438 $12.99
Francis Poulenc
Presto in B-flat Major B2513 $12.99
Sergei Prokofieff
Gavotta from Four Pieces for Piano, (Op. 32, No. 3) B2431 $9.99
Larghetto and Gavotta from Classical Symphony, Op. 25 B2481 $12.99
Le Marchand amoureux (The Enamored Merchant) from the Ballet Chout B3351 $9.99
March from the Opera The Love for Three Oranges (trans. Heifetz) B2480 $9.99
Masks from the Ballet Romeo And Juliette B2616 $10.99
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Etude-Tableau (Op. 33, No. 7) B3390 $9.99
It’s Peaceful Here from Twelve Songs, Op. 21, No. 7 B3376 $9.99
Melody from Twelve Songs, Op. 31, No. 9 B3341 $10.99
Prelude in E-flat Minor, Op. 23, No. 9 B2423 $10.99
Prelude in G Major, Op. 23, No. 5 B2801 $10.99
Jean-Philippe Rameau
Rigaudon B2185 $12.99
Maurice Ravel
Forlane from Le tombeau de Couperin B2611 $12.99
Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov
Bumble-Bee (Flight of the) from the Opera The Legend of Tsar Saltan
     (trans. Heifetz)
B2258 $8.95
Camille Saint-Saëns
The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (ed., arr. Heifetz) B2798 $6.95
Pablo de Sarasate
Malagueña (Spanish Dance) (ed. Heifetz) B2441 $10.99
Zapateado, Op. 23, No. 2 (ed. Heifetz) B2440 $12.99
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonatina B2316 $12.99
Franz Schubert
Ave Maria (arr. August Wilhelmj / ed. Heifetz) B2433 $8.50
Impromptu (Op. 90, No. 3) B2317 $12.99
Robert Schumann
Prophetic Bird (Vogel als Prophet, Op. 82, No. 7) (trans., ed. Heifetz) B2436 $9.99
Deep River (African-American Spiritual) B2479 $9.99
Joaquin Turina
La Oración del Torero (Op. 34) B2618 $12.99
Flausino do Vale
Ao pé da fogueira from Preludio XV B2609 $9.99
Antonio Vivaldi
Larghetto from the Concerto for String Orchestra, RV565 B2186 $9.99
Julian Aguirre
Huella (Canción Argentina), Op. 49 (ed. William Primrose) B2672 $10.99
Grigoras Dinicu
Hora Staccato (Roumanian) (ed. William Primrose) B2671 $10.99
Stephen Foster
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (ed. William Primrose) B2674 $9.99
Flausino do Vale
Ao pé da fogueira from Preludio XV (ed. William Primrose) B2673 $9.99
Biography from www.jaschaheifetz.com/about/bio.html
Learn more at www.jaschaheifetz.com
Photo courtesy and © Estate of Jascha Heifetz
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