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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
February 2
Can You Guess? Jascha Heifetz, though a classical violinist, was involved in all aspects of music.  He even wrote a pop song that was recorded by Margaret Whiting.  I'll leave it up to you to find the title, but  Can You Guess the name Jascha Heifetz used when he wrote the song?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
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What Else
Happened
Today?
1795 - Premiere of Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 102 in B.

1875 - Birth of Austrian-American violinist Fritz Kreisler in Vienna.

1883 - Birth of Mexican composer Candelario Huízar in Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico.

1890 - Premiere of Antonin Dvorák's Symphony No. 8, Op. 88, in Prague. Composer conducting.

1937 - Tom Smothers, vocals/guitar. Member: 'The Smothers Brothers' vocal group.

1959 - The tune, "Charlie Brown", sung by the Coasters was released.

1974 - Dark Lady, by Cher, was released.
Click Photo to find Heifetz's music on Amazon.com

Jascha Heifetz
1900-1987
Jascha Heifetz, who was bron February 1, 1900, played violin for 83 of his 87 years.  For more than 60 of those years he appeared before audiences across the length and breadth of the world. 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 9, and in three years was acclaimed a child prodigy of unmatched gifts.
Asked about child prodigies, Heifetz said, "You know, child prodigism - if I may coin a word - is a disease which is generally fatal. I was among the few to have the good fortune to survive. But I had the advantage of a great teacher in Professor Auer and a family that instinctively had a high regard for music, very good taste and a horror of mediocrity."

Following his St. Petersburg debut, Jascha performed in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia.  When the Russian Revolution broke out, the family, after many difficulties, traveled to America. Heifetz made his Carnegie Hall debut on October 27, 1917.  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, Jascha became a musical idol.  He made 30 appearances that year in New York City alone.

Jascha became an American citizen in 1925, continued to concertize and record.  The public was mesmerized.  The only thing that critics could complain about was that Heifetz actually played extremely difficult pieces too fast, although it was frequently simply Heifetz's quick, economical style of bowing (which made notes sound clipped and therefore quicker) that they mistook for speed.  But it was just that preceived velocity that the public loved.

During World War II Heifetz did his part for the war effort by travelling to entertain the troops.

In the '40s he settled into a comfortable house atop one of the Beverly Hills in California, where he lived until his death.

Jascha began to reduce his performing when he reached his 60s.  His last public recital was in 1972.  He devoted his later life to teaching at the University of Southern California.  One hallmark of his teaching was the respect for discipline in practice and performance.

By the time of his death, December 10, 1987, Jascha Heifetz had recorded more than 80 albums.  He had travelled more than 2,000,000 miles performing, received countless honors and was even made an officer in the French Legion due to the huge number of charity performances he gave in France.  Although he had received numerous Grammy awards during his life, he wa posthumously awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Academy in 1989.

My Favorite Heifetz quote:
I occasionally play works by contemporary composers and for two reasons. First to discourage the composer from writing any more and secondly to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven.
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Jascha Heifetz
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Violinist Jascha Heifetz
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Mug with a Great Quote from Jascha Heifetz:
I occasionally play works by contemporary composers and for two reasons. First to discourage the composer from writing any more and secondly to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven.
Jascha Heifetz Quote Mug
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Did You Guess?
Jascha used the name Jim Hoyl (Notice the Initials?)  This was a really hard one if you did not notice the color clues in the question.