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Heifetz (Jascha) Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Contents
  • Separated Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Title: Jascha Heifetz Collection
    creator: Pfeiffer, John
    Identifier/Call Number: ARS.0046
    Physical Description: 27 box(es) 22 boxes of 10" and 12" sound discs; 5 boxes of 12" open reel tapes
    Date (inclusive): 1911-1972
    Abstract: The collection contains primarily sound recordings of performances of Jascha Heifetz, but it also includes recordings of other artists, some of whom were collaborators with Heifetz, as well as one recording of his teacher, Leopold Auer. There are 924 recordings on 10" and 12" sound discs, including test pressings, instantaneous discs and commercially released records. Most of the discs are 78 rpm recordings, but there are also a few 33 1/2 rpm 12" discs. In addition to audio discs, the collection contains 88 recordings on magnetic tape which consist of 1/4" tape on 10" reels. 61 of the tapes were made between December 14, 1954 and November 21, 1972. 27 of the tapes are undated. The collection also includes a computer-generated inventory of the collection prepared by the donor.
    Language of Material: English, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Arabic, Italian, Japanese
    Physical Location: Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound Stanford University Libraries Stanford, California 94305-3076


    The recordings are arranged in three series: Series 1: 10" discs; Series 2: 12" discs; Series 3: Open Reel Tapes. Series 1 and 2 are each divided into three sub-series: (1) Instantaneous Discs; (2) Test Pressings, (3) Commercially Released Recordings. Within each sub-series the discs are arranged by manufacturer name and matrix number. The tapes are arranged chronologically by recording date with the undated recordings following the dated recordings. The undated recordings had been arranged by the donor in the order of identifying numbers on the tapes. Although it has been possible to provide dates for these undated recordings, and the date information is included with each individual tape listing in this finding aid, the original order of the tapes has been maintained.

    Biographical / Historical

    Jascha Heifetz, legendary American violinist, was born in Vilnius on February 2, 1901. His first teacher was his own father, but he also studied with Elias Malkin before being accepted into the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1910. He studied first with Leopold Auer’s assistant, Nalbandyan, and then with Auer himself. Heifetz had impressed audiences from the age of six when he performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. At the age of ten he performed in St. Petersburg, and his highly successful Berlin debut took place on May 23, 1912. Later that same year he performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Arthur Nikisch. In 1917 Heifetz was offered the opportunity to perform a concert tour of the United States, and on October 27 that year he made his Carnegie Hall debut. In 1925 Heifetz became an American citizen.
    During the early 1920s Heifetz performed in England, Australia and East Asia, and later in the decade he performed in Palestine. In 1934 he made a return concert visit to Russia. After the Second World War Heifetz reduced the number of his concert appearances although he made notable appearances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1967 and at Carnegie Hall, where he performed collaboratively three times in 1964 with several artists, including Piatigorsky. Other musicians with whom Heifetz collaborated in chamber concerts were Emanuel Feuermann, William Primrose and Artur Rubinstein. Beginning in 1962, Heifetz taught at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and was the first faculty member to hold the Heifetz Chair in Music which was established in 1975.
    Throughout his life Heifetz made numerous recordings on major labels such as Columbia, Decca and Gramophone, but the largest number of recordings he made were for the Victor/RCA Victor label. He composed music himself and also wrote numerous transcriptions for the violin. Under the alias Jim Hoyl, he wrote the hit song "When You Make Love to Me (Don't Make Believe)" which was sung by Bing Crosby. Heifetz also commissioned and performed several new concertos, of which probably the most well-known is the Violin Concerto by William Walton. Other concertos commissioned by Heifetz include those by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Louis Gruenberg and Arnold Schoenberg (which Heifetz never played).
    The supreme artistry of Jascha Heifetz is undisputed, and his name has become synonymous with absolute perfection in violin playing. During his lifetime he owned more than one Stradivarius violin, and although his last public performance took place in 1972, he continued to play up to the end of his life. Heifetz died on December 10, 1987 in Los Angeles.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Jascha Heifetz Collection, ARS.0046. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA.

    Scope and Contents

    The Jascha Heifetz Collection was assembled and donated by the long-time friend and record producer of Mr. Heifetz, John (Jack) Pfeiffer, in January and July 1990.

    Separated Materials

    Several discs in the collection were received broken or cracked. Those discs have been removed from the sequence and placed in Box 1. Box 1 is stored at the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Violin and piano music
    Violin with orchestra
    Concertos (Violin)
    Sonatas (Violin and piano)
    Test pressings (Sound recordings)
    Violinists -- United States
    Violin music
    Pfeiffer, John
    Heifetz, Jascha