Jascha Heifetz and Fritz Kreisler, two of the 20th century's great violinists, were periodic guests on WQXR. On two separate occasions, both were the subject of special birthday tributes. For our month-long ViolinFest, we've scoured the vaults to offer these special archival recordings.
Fritz Kreisler 80th Birthday Tribute (1955)
On February 2, 1955, WQXR's former Music Director Abram Chasins assembled a tribute special for the Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler. It featured great Kreisler recordings plus audio "shout outs" from nine distinguished violinists: Joseph Szigeti, Yehudi Menuhin, Mischa Elman, Nathan Milstein, Erica Morini, Zino Francescatti, Joseph Fuchs, Ruggiero Ricci, Isaac Stern, plus Carl Lamson, Kreisler’s longtime accompanist.
Jascha Heifetz 75th Birthday Tribute (1976)
1976 was more than the 200th birthday of the United States: it marked the 80th of the legendary Russian-American violinist Jascha Heifetz. In tribute, fellow fiddler Itzhak Perlman came down to the WQXR studios with a box his favorite Heifetz records. Here he shares some of them with WQXR's George Jellinek.
Courtesy of the WQXR Collection-NYPR Archives