The obituaries following Jascha Heifetz's death in 1987 mostly read like a thesaurus of superlatives - much like his 1917 Carnegie Hall debut did, seventy years previously. The obituaries included here are but a small selection of the countless published in the press the world over.

Some articles, including those written by noted music writers and journalists, contain various inaccuracies about Heifetz. The articles are left intact, as they were printed, with no corrections made, as are their respective copyrights.


(c)1995 Newsday Inc. All rts. reserv.

JASCHA HEIFETZ DIES AT 86 Newsday (ND) - Saturday December 12, 1987 By: Vivienne Walt. Peter Goodman contributed to this report.

TEXT: Jascha Heifetz, regarded by many as the greatest violinist of this century, died late Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital, at the age of 86.

Spokesman  Ron  Wise  at  Cedars-Sinai  Medical  Center  told reporters yesterday  that  Heifetz  had died at 11:20 p.m. from complications arising from  a  fall  nearly  two months ago at his Hollywood Hills home, and from subsequent brain surgery.

Violinist  Itzhak  Perlman said: "Ever since I can remember, he was the top, the epitome of what incredible violin-playing meant."

Perlman said that he decided to become a violinist after first hearing a  recording by Heifetz on the radio in Israel, when Perlman was a boy of 4 or 5. "I heard him and said to my parents, 'I want to play the violin.' "

The  intensely private Heifetz played his first violin as a 3-year-old in Vilna, Lithuania, and began performing publicly when he was 7.

His  international  fame  began  at  the  age  of  16, when he made his sensational debut at Carnegie Hall, days after the 1917 Russian Revolution, from which his parents had fled.

He was hailed by one New York critic as "a modern miracle," by another as "a perfect violinist." (A profile, Part II.)

But  Heifetz,  described  by  some  interviewers  as  having a reticent personality,  snubbed  such praise. "There is no such thing as perfection," he  once  said.  "After  you have set a standard, you learn that it was not high enough."

Heifetz  so disliked the publicity his concert performances brought him that  he  refused  to  perform under  a spotlight and revealed only sparse details about his life.

"Just make it: 'Born in Russia, first lesson at 3, debut at 7, debut in America  in  1917,' " he told one interviewer. "That's all there is really, about two lines."

He snubbed another reporter entirely, saying, "I don't want to write my own obituary."

Musicians and music-lovers heaped praise on Heifetz yesterday, amply filling out that obituary.