Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Performing Arts Center celebrates violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center will pay tribute to the life of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz with a two-day celebration Oct. 23 and 24 in the Hodgson Concert Hall. Admission is free, but tickets are required for both events.

Heifetz had a far-reaching effect on generations of violinists by revolutionizing the way the violin is played. Ukrainian-born violinist Isaac Stern called Heifetz’s playing “the single most powerful influence in the 20th century,” and Israeli-born violinist Itzhak Perlman called Heifetz the “God” of all violinists.

On Oct. 23 at 3 p.m., the Performing Arts Center will present “A Heifetz Celebration” with violinist Arnold Steinhardt and pianist Seymour Lipkin. The musicians will perform a world premiere of a transcription of Richard Strauss’s “Dreams in the Twilight” that Heifetz arranged but never performed in public.

Steinhardt was a founding member and first violin of the internationally acclaimed Guarneri String Quartet until the ensemble’s retirement in 2009. Lipkin won the Rachmaninoff competition at 20 and enjoyed a long career performing with the world’s major symphony orchestras. He was assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and he performed with Heifetz on a 60-city tour.

Steinhardt and Lipkin’s concert will include works by Mozart, Schubert, Strauss and Grieg. Heifetz biographer John Maltese, who is an associate professor of political science at UGA, will give a pre-concert lecture 45 minutes prior to the concert.

“A Heifetz Celebration” is made possible in part through the generosity of the members of the Franklin College Music Society and is the 2011 William Jackson Payne Memorial Concert on the Franklin College Chamber Music Series.

“Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler,” a new film by Peter Rosen, will screen Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. The film will officially open Nov. 11 at New York’s QUAD Cinema.

The Athens preview screening of God’s Fiddler will include a discussion with Rosen and Maltese. Rosen relied on research, period photographs and family home movies to create the first full-length film biography of Heifetz.

“A Heifetz Celebration” and “Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler” are supported in part by the President’s Venture Fund through the generous gifts by UGA partners and by a grant from the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

For tickets, see the Performing Arts Center box office or call 706/542-4400.