Jascha Heifetz in South Africa


nsights from 1932

Michael Brittan



SKU: 9378-1-57647-347-4-1-1-1-3-1-1-2 Categories: ,


Jascha Heifetz was the most celebrated violinist of the 20th century whose influence on violin playing endures to this day. His one-and-only tour of South Africa in 1932 is at once compelling and revealing. In this thoroughly-researched and illustrated book, Michael Brittan drills down into the Heifetz legend and legacy. At the same time, he brings to life the fascinating saga of the makings of Depression-era South Africa and its musical life, along with hints of what the future would hold. Against this backdrop, engaging narrative documents the never-published details of Heifetz both on and off the South African concert stage. The book reveals how the Heifetz phenomenon was perceived by the South African public through the commentaries of the press, music critics and interviews. Scrutiny through the South African lens of Heifetz the musical master and Heifetz the man adds a new chapter to his life and times, providing fresh insights into the enigmatic Heifetz genius and personality.


Michael Brittan: Michael Brittan is an amateur violinist. Born in Johannesburg, his life has been divided between South Africa and the United States. He holds masters and PhD degrees from Yale University, studied business management at the University of South Africa, and has degrees in chemical engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In South Africa he concertized in solo recitals, chamber music and as soloist on several occasions with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra and the national SABC Orchestra. While studying in the U.S. he joined the Yale Repertory Symphony Orchestra as well as the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut. A career in the gold industry has taken him to-far flung places around the world. He has written for Encyclopedia Britannica, violinist.com, American Scientist and numerous other publications. Southern Africa features in his previous book, Discover Namibia. He owns two Cremona violins, one a 1677 Andrea Guarneri. He lives in Colorado with his wife Elizabeth and family.