Today is October 27 – and it was on October 27, 1917, that the great violinist Jascha Heifetz made his American debut in Carnegie Hall. I say great – many people would call Heifetz the greatest, a violinist who dazzled audiences with his stupendous technical ability, melted hearts with his gorgeous tone, and inspired thousands of young musicians to play more beautifully than they ever thought they could.
Heifetz was only sixteen years old when he made his American debut, but he had been a world-famous virtuoso since at least the age of eleven, which is when he made his debut as soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The reviews of the Carnegie Hall concert were sensational, and two weeks after the concert Heifetz made his first recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company. Those recordings—which are wonderful—are still available, as are the hundreds of other recordings that Heifetz later made for RCA Victor.
This has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.