Home » blog » Jascha Heifetz: Niccolò Paganini’s “Caprice No. 24” and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Chaconne”

Jascha Heifetz: Niccolò Paganini’s “Caprice No. 24” and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Chaconne”

An interesting quote from Jascha Heifetz–considered one of the greatest violinists ever–on the importance of rehearsing: “If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.” Here is the beginning of the bio at his site:

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 began play­ing the vio­lin at the age of two. He took his first lessons from his father Ruvin, and entered the local music school in Vilna at the age of five where he stud­ied with Ilya Malkin. He made his first pub­lic appear­ance in a stu­dent recital there in Decem­ber 1906, and made his for­mal pub­lic debut at the age of seven in the nearby city of Kovno (now known as Kau­nas, Lithua­nia). 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.

Heifetz entered the St. Peters­burg Con­ser­va­tory in 1910. He stud­ied first with I.R. Nal­ban­dian, and then entered the class of Leopold Auer in 1911. By then his pub­lic per­for­mances were already cre­at­ing a sen­sa­tion. One out­door con­cert in Odessa in the sum­mer of 1911 report­edly drew as many as 8,000 peo­ple. The young Nathan Mil­stein, who was in the audi­ence, recalled that the police sur­rounded the boy when he fin­ished play­ing to pro­tect him from the surg­ing crowd. (Continue Reading…)