Category Archives: Heifetz

A mystery of artistry…

My post on the Slipped Disc blog:

Mr. Isserlis articulates something that, to me, separates the true artists from the accomplished performers — namely, that they search the structure of the piece to find its architecture. They put themselves into the mind of the composer, and perform from that position.

I first became aware of this mystery in listening to Heifetz. I stand in awe of those who do this…

– See more at:

I used to think…:-0

As I was struggling to find my way, plunged in an atypical (to say the least) manner in the traditional classical “underworld of music”, studying flute seriously while being treated in what seemed a very disrespectful and unpredictable manner by my Minnesota Orchestra Principal teacher, Profs at the UofM, and other so-called “professionals”, I used to think, “if only I could get to Heifetz, he would understand,” and, “if only Heifetz were my teacher, others would have to treat me with respect.” Though merely a flute player, I did everything I could to pursue the dream of becoming one of his students, but to no avail. With Heifetz’ integrity of playing, exquisite artistry, and classical calm, I felt that he alone may have held the answers to any question I might had about the flute. When one of these players exclaimed, after hearing me practice a section of the Brahms violin concerto on the stage at Orchestra Hall, that I had “more power than Heifetz” I was furious. Nobody had more power than Heifetz, I thought at that time; though I have since modified my position to say that was true in many of the pieces he recorded. Though I did not realize it at the time, Heifetz had become, in essence, my teacher, through his recordings, and he could do no wrong. In fact, when he died, I felt as though I had lost a personal friend.

In my naivete I sincerely believed that because my musical situation was so unusual I had myself triggered the bullying reactions of so many “professionals”, it was not until recently that a door opened into the deep abyss that the students of Heifetz seemed to have faced. It is a thread on the Slipped Disc blog, that has turned out to be insightful and informative, and terrifyingly real:

Hopefully, this thread will help many who have been victims of bullying to regain their self-respect and calm. I know it has help me to do so…