Jascha Heifetz, a child prodigy violin player, was taught by his father to present himself passively to better focus attention on the music. This does not mean the music played by one of the world’s greatest violinists didn’t resonate with passion, as experts and fellow musicians attest to in this excerpt from American Masters – Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler. Watch archival footage of Heifetz playing.
“Who can explain how the artist harmonizes the movement of his fingers with the emotions of his soul? All my life they have accused me of being poker faced. Of never smiling. Of being cold. And yet millions of people have come to hear me play, and do a good imitation of enjoying themselves.” – Jascha Heifetz
American Masters – Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler premieres nationwide Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Major market premieres include Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. on WTTW11 in Chicago and 10:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN in New York and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal in Los Angeles, on WGBH in Boston and on Houston Public Media.