Life And Legacy Of Violin Virtuoso Jascha Heifetz

The magnificent, wild and difficult genius of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz. A new documentary takes us in.

Violinist Jascha Heifetz. (Library of Congress)

Violinist Jascha Heifetz. (Library of Congress)


The great violinst Jascha Heifetz was great early.  A prodigy.  At five, studying with Russia’s best.  At ten, mobbed at a concert in St. Petersburg.  Needing police to hold off the crowd.  At sixteen, in 1917, escaping revolutionary Russia on the Trans-Siberian to take up life and art in America.

His precision and passion were legendary.  So was his toughness.

This hour, On Point:  the great Itzhak Perlman and more join us to look at the life and genius of Jascha Heifetz.

-Tom Ashbrook


Peter Rosen, Filmmaker and documentarian, director of: “Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler.”

Arthur Vered, Biographer, Psychologist, and Jascha Heifetz scholar, author of “Jascha Heifetz.”

Itzhak Perlman, Emmy and Grammy-award winning virtuoso violinist and conductor.

From Tom’s Reading List “In her 2001 book Heifetz As I Knew Him, Ayke Agus writes, “Jascha Heifetz didn’t seem to be as proud of his artistic achievements as of the fact that he was a difficult person. The ultimate paradox was that this person who could not live without company eventually did everything in his power to get rid of people.””

Hollywood Reporter “An informative if uninvigorating look at the violinist Itzhak Perlman calls “the first true modern virtuoso player,” Peter Rosen’s God’s Fiddler: Jascha Heifetz will draw only the most ardent classical fans to its niche theatrical run but should please a wider audience after making its way to educational TV.”


Suite in A Minor: Presto (Heifetz with Donald Voorhees and the Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra, 1940s)

Caprice # 13 in B-Flat (with Brooks Smith, 1960)

Rondo from Serenade # 7 (with Brooks Smith, LIVE, Paris, 1970)

Violin Concerto in D Major, Mvmt. #1 (with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1955)

Caprice # 24 in A minor (with Arpad Sandor, 1934)

Romance, Opus 4 (Live, St. Petersburg, 1911)

Violin Concerto #4 in D minor; Mvmt. 1 (with Brooks Smith, 1962)

“When You Make Love To Me” (1943)

“When You Make Love To Me” by Bing Crosby (with Victor Young and his orchestra, 1946)

Serenata Napoletana #2 (with Brooks Smith, 1954)

Piano Trio #1; Mvmt. 1 (with Arthur Rubinstein and Gregor Piatigorsky, 1950)

Violin Concerto #1; Mvmt. 2 (with Alfred Wallenstein and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 1953)

“Sea Murmurs” (with Brooks Smith, LIVE, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Los Angeles, 1972)

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