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Jascha Heifetz: Early Years in Russia (Russian Music Studies) Hardcover – November 7, 2013
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"One of my lifetime heroes, Jascha Heifetz was a performer of unique perfection and beauty. This biography will be a happy discovery for the professional, the music lover, and students everywhere." ―Menahem Pressler, founding member and pianist for the Beaux Arts Trio and Distinguished Professor, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University
"Regrettably, a satisfactory, comprehensive biography of Heifetz has not appeared. However, Kopytova has filled the gap vis-a-vis Heifetz's childhood... Recommended." ―Choice
"This is a very valuable book, lovingly researched, well written and translated, and presented with many evocative photos." ―The Strad
"Scholar and archivist Kopytova has filled this void [on Heifetz's Russian childhood] admirably...A fascinating look at the early career of a prodigy who fulfilled the promise of his early success, this book will appeal to musicians (violinists in particular), as well as those interested in the culture and history of the early 20th century, especially as it relates to Tsarist and World War I-era Russia." ―
"No biography of Heifetz I have come across has dealt in detail with this period of his life, one which he viewed with discomfort and as having ‘a dark side’. This outstanding volume corrects that omission and provides us with an accurate and exhaustively researched narrative of how one of the most amazing musical prodigies became one of the greatest violinists in history." ―Gramophone
"A fascinating account, giving a vivid view into a half-forgotten world." ―Classical Music
"As a young student of the violin, my hero was Jascha Heifetz. His tone quality, virtuosity, technical perfection, and his unmatched energy were enormously inspiring. I own numerous books, biographies, and articles on the life and times of Jascha Heifetz, but none focus in depth on his fascinating early years in Russia to the extent that this book does. I am so pleased to add this to my collection." ―Joshua Bell, Emmy-award winning violinist
"[T]his book is really about much more than the early life of this extraordinary musician: it is about the full tapestry of late Imperial Russian life, with its huge talents and personalities adding warmth to the mindless bureaucracy and anti-Semitism that dogged the Heifetz family. Alexandra Sarlo and Dario Sarlo have done a fine job of translating Kopytova's book, bringing to the English-speaking world a treasury of information about this fascinating historical figure about whom we previously knew so little." ―Russian Review
"Galina Kopytova has performed an excellent job in researching numerous archives in order to piece together an account that was first published in St Petersburg in 2004, and now appears in English, somewhat expanded and refined, for the first time. This well-illustrated book should interest many musicians and music lovers as well as offering a detailed portrait of the cultural, especially Jewish, life of Russia in the early twentieth century. It is unlikely to be superseded in the foreseeable future." ―Slavonic and East European Review
"This wonderful book is a fascinating, well-written and well-presented history of one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century – indeed, for many listeners, the greatest such practitioner of the art. It is a book which we have looked forward to for decades […] There have been conflicting early biographical claims regarding Heifetz […] but Galina Kopytova has delved deeply (often for the first time) into archives in Lithuania, Russia, Berlin and Warsaw […] Here is a compelling story about the early life of a musical genius threaded through with the artistic atmosphere and general milieu of the era in which he was born and brought up. It’s a great book, much of which will be a revelation to
many." ―International Record Review
About the Author
Galina Kopytova is a scholar and archivist specializing in the history of Russian musical culture. She heads the Office of Manuscripts of the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts in Saint Petersburg and is author of The Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg-Petrograd (in Russian) and coauthor of From the History of Jewish Music in Russia (in Russian).
Translator Alexandra Sarlo has studied and conducted research in Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Translator Dario Sarlo worked as a researcher on the documentary Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler by Peter Rosen Productions. He is a musicologist, violinist, and writer for The Strad.
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Kudos to Galina Kopytova for her detailed research and to Dario and Alexandra Sarlo for their wonderful translation, without which the non-Russian speaking audience would still not have the chance to learn more about Heifetz.
Now I'm just waiting for a good comprehensive biography of Heifetz, and my life would be complete!