The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Heifetz, Jascha

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HEIFETZ, hī'fĕts, Jascha, Russian-Jewish violinist: b. Vilna, Russia, 2 Feb. 1901 (or 20 Jan. according to the Russian calendar). At a very early age he began to play the violin, and entered the Royal School of Music at Vilna when he was but five years old. He was graduated at eight, and went immediately to Petrograd, where he studied under Leopold Auer. His first public appearance was made at the age of five. He gave his first recital at Petrograd, before a large audience, at the age of nine, surprising his hearers by his facility and unusual genius of interpretation. Subsequently, he was soloist of the Symphony Orchestra at Pavlovsk; and later toured Europe. Coming to the United States, he made his first appearance at New York on 27 Oct. 1917. His audience was instantly charmed by the rare combination of the young violinist's skilful technique, lyrical quality of tone and intellectual grasp of his compositions. His tour through the United States has met with the warmest praise and commendation everywhere.