Who knew? The two greatest fiddlers share a birthday

Who knew? The two greatest fiddlers share a birthday


norman lebrecht

February 02, 2021

Kreisler and Heifetz were both born on February 2, one in 1875, the other 1902.

Heifetz, Kreisler and Zimbalist in 1918, possibly shielding from Spanish Flu.

Heifetz would today have entered his 120th year.


  • Dan oren says:

    119 if he was born in 1902

  • Mark Cogley says:

    This turn of phrase, “He was in his –th year” confuses the dull and should be dropped. At least half of the time the people using it actually think “He was in his 80th year” and “He was 80 years old” mean the same thing.

  • vlagirl08 says:

    Heifetz was actually born in 1899, but his father, Ruben Heifetz, pushed the year up to 1901 to make his seem more precocious at his 1912 Berlin debut. On the flip side, his last recordings from the 1970’s are all that more impressive given he was 74 at that famed Chaconne/Scottish Fantasy recording session.

  • Larry W says:

    Also, a birthday is shared by Pau Casals and Lionel Tertis. The same day and year– December 29, 1876.

  • BruceB says:

    As long as we’re mentioning violinists with shared birthdays: Zukerman and Ysaye, both July 16. (Different years, obviously)

  • Greg Bottini says:

    “WHO KNEW?”
    I did, actually….
    Kreisler is my favorite violinist and Heifetz is in my top five.

  • M2N2K says:

    At the very least, Jascha Heifetz would have completed his first 120 years yesterday and would have now entered his 121st, because he was born no later than in 1901, if not possibly even a year or two earlier than that.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    I also wonder about the 1918 attribution for that marvelous photo of Heifetz, Kreisler and Zimbalist. Heifetz looks older (and his hair much shorter) here than in other photos known to be taken pre-1920, and Kreisler looks more gray haired.

    Zimbalist looked middle aged even when he was young.