The twentieth century has given humanity a host of brilliant violinists. Jascha Heifetz is a star of the first magnitude within this constellation of artists.

Born in 1901 in Vilnius, the city much loved by its inhabitants from many cultures, and referred to as the 'Jerusalem of the North' by Jews from all over the world, throughout his life Jascha Heifetz treasured the memory of his home-life and musical atmosphere, as well as the influence of the multi-cultural environment experienced in his early days.

Heifetz gave his first public concert in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1907, at the age of six. In 1912, Heifetz achieved European fame after his concert in Berlin, followed by international acclaim in the USA, which became his second home.

The brilliance of Heifetz‘ artistry has become a shining example for all violinists of our time. Professor Yuri Grigoryev defines the unique feature of this musician as the subconscious improvisation underpinned by the architecture of ancient Vilnius: it conveys its grandeur, classical harmony and expressive architectural variety.

Once George Bernard Shaw impressed by Heifetz's playing warned him: "If you provoke a jealous God by playing with such superhuman perfection, you will die young". However, fate has been kind to the great musician. His masterful playing has inspired many of his colleagues and also all the music lovers back then and also now, while Vilnius has earned fame as the birthplace of this genius.

Prof. Dr. Jurgis Dvarionas

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