October 25

100 Years Ago This Week,
Jascha Heifetz Made His American Debut

National Public Radio in the United States recently commemorated the centennial anniversary of Jascha Heifetz’s American debut at Carnegie Hall.  Here are some related images from our archives.


Heifetz in 1913 at the age of twelve.

Musical America, Vol. 25 No. 19 (10 March 1917): 11.


A young Heifetz with Professor Auer and his violin students at summer school in Dresden.

Musical America, Vol. 21 No. 1 (7 November 1914): 25.


Heifetz, a young man, with Professor Auer and his violin students in Petrograd (St. Petersburg).

Musical America, Vol. 24 No. 22 (30 September 1916): 11.


One month before the arrival of Heifetz in America

Musical America, Vol. 26 No. 18 (1 September 1917): 2.


The announcement of Heifetz’s debut.

Musical America, Vol. 26 No. 25 (20 October 1917): 33.


A compilation of reviews in several newspapers from his debut

                Musical America, Vol. 27 No. 1 (3 November 1917): 18.  

He has a technic which must make him the admiration and the despair of all the other violinists.  His finger work is almost unerring, whether in rapid flights or in intricate passages of double stopping.  But better than this is the exquisite finish, elasticity and resource of his bowing, which gives him a supreme command of all the tonal nuances essential to style and interpretation.

Above, The New York World (28 October 1917).

Genius is a big word for which there seldom is use.  Comparatively few persons are qualified to have it applied to them.  Yet one such–a seventeen-year-old Russian youth–stood upon the Carnegie Hall stage yesterday afternoon and before his musical task was half completed an audience numbering more than 2,000, that knew, pronounced him the greatest violinist heard here in years.

Above, The New York Sun (28 October 1917)


Musical America, Vol. 27 No. 2 (10 November 1917): 3.

He quickly settled in New York City …

… and traveled the country.

Musical America, Vol. 27 No. 9 (29 December 1917): 47.


A rare photo of a playful Heifetz.

Musical America, Vol. 29 No. 15 (8 February 1919): 48.

A telling commentary, one month after his American debut.

“Mephistos Musings,” Musical America, Vol. 27 No. 2 (10 November 1917): 8.


Finally, Heifetz with his beloved Professor Aurer.


RIPM search tip:  A search for “Heifetz” in RIPM’s e-Library of Music Periodicals reveals that his name appears at least once on 1,545 pages!


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Posted October 25, 2017 by Ben Knysak in category "Curios and Chronicles