Indiana University

Endowments & Scholarships

Jascha Heifetz Scholarship Fund

HeifetzCelebrated violinist Jascha Heifetz was born in Vilnius, Russia on February 2, 1899. His father, an able musician, taught him the rudiments of violin playing at a very early age. Mr. Heifetz then studied with Ilya Malkin at the Vilnius Music School and made his public debut at the age of six, playing Mendelssohn's Concerto. In 1910 he was accepted as a student by Leopold Auer, world-renowned violinist and professor of music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music. In 1912, with a letter of recommendation from Professor Auer, he went to Berlin to play at the Hochschule fur Musik and was engaged to play the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic. Mr. Heifetz achieved sensational success as a child prodigy of extraordinary gifts. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Heifetz family went to America by way of Siberia and the Orient. At age 17, Mr. Heifetz made his U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall and won the highest expression of enthusiasm from the public and the press. After becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1925, he made his home in Beverly Hills, California. In subsequent years he continued to travel throughout the world as a concert violinist, visiting virtually every country in the world. After 1974 he ceased to appear in public as a soloist, but participated in a trio (with Piatigorsky and Pennario) and also taught classes of exceptionally talented pupils at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1962-72). Throughout his life, Mr. Heifetz made extensive transcriptions for violin by Bach, Vivaldi, and contemporary composers. He also made hundreds of recordings before his death in 1987.

The Jascha Heifetz Scholarship Fund was established in 1989 as a memorial to the virtuoso violinist by Annette Greer, executrix of his estate. The fund provides scholarships for outstanding violin students enrolled at IU School of Music.