JASCHA HEIFETZ d1987. Lithuanian-born Russian violinist considered by many to be the greatest violinist of all time. Born in Vilna in 1901, he moved as a teenager to the United States, where his Carnegie Hall debut in October 1917 was rapturously received. A virtuoso since childhood, Fritz Kreisler (another leading violinist of the twentieth century) said on hearing his debut ; "We might as well take our fiddles and break them across our knees ...." He enjoyed a long and highly successful performing & recording career, before having an only partially successful operation on his right shoulder in 1972 which caused him to cease giving concerts and making records. Although his prowess as a performer remained intact and he continued to play privately until the end, his bow arm had been affected and he could never again hold the bow as high as before. He died in Los Angeles aged 86 on December 10th 1987.
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