Watch: Jascha Heifetz fakes an audition

Watch: Jascha Heifetz fakes an audition


norman lebrecht

April 19, 2019

Who knew he could make us laugh?


  • Ricardo says:

    A classic. Only a master can play like that on purpose.

  • Leslie Austin - says:


  • Leslie Austin says:

    I did actually hear Heifetz at a recording season in London with Sargent conducting

  • David K. Nelson says:

    I have this sinking feeling that should I ever have auditioned for Heifetz (and I cannot imagine the circumstances where I would have), that pretty much sums up how it would go. Except my octaves would not be that good and I’d use way less bow, too little bow. (There were limits to how badly Heifetz could play even when he wanted to!)

    He made an entire album of perfectly bad violin playing (complete with bad album cover!) and had a limited number of copies made for friends. There are excerpts on YouTube and in some ways it is even funnier because the flaws of tempo and rhythm are more subtle, less like a Jack Benny joke. The story is that William Primrose snuck a tape of the album into the audition tapes at Indiana University – and then was able to tell the audition jury including Gingold that they had all just given thumbs down to accepting … Jascha Heifetz.

  • Nick Moutrie says:

    Sorry, Vieuxtemps

    Very funny – thanks for posting !

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Very funny! Almost as bad as Miss America 2016:

    Or the Contrabassoon audition:

  • NYMike says:

    As many times as I’ve seen it, I still laughed out loud. Thanks, Norman!

  • lori says:

    That’s pianist Brooks Smith, playing like a dream even with tears of laughter.

  • Phillip Ayling says:

    Well!!! He was more influenced by Jack Benny than I would have ever imagined.

  • Not bad, but Benny had better timing and presentation.

    Comedy is hard.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    I have heard a lot lot worse.