Jascha Heifetz Specialized Collection of Music on Stamps

Finding Guide
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1947 Souvenir Sheet with Polish Cultural Heros

Prepared by Amelia B. Kile and Elena Allegretti, Volunteer Research Assistants, and Thomas Lera, Winton M. Blount Research Chair

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Note to Jascha Heifetz from his old teacher

COLLECTION SCOPE & CONTENT

This is a collection compiled from several albums, organized alphabetically by country with the broad theme of music. Commemorative issues, souvenir proofs and stamps ranging from singles to blocks of twenty are included from 1930-1970s.

PROVENANCE & PROCESSING HISTORY

The five albums of a collection of stamps from around the world that have a musical theme were donated by Mr. Jascha Heifetz on February 14, 1978 (Accession Number 1978.0197). There are over 6,421 objects including mint and used postage stamps, mint and used souvenir sheets, essays and proofs, postal stationery, and labels and sheet music.

NARRATIVE D ESCRIPT ION

Jascha Heifetz, (b. 1901, Vilna, Lithuania, Russian Empire, (now Vilnius, Lithuania)—d. 1987, Los Angeles), Russian-born American violinist noted for his conscientious musical interpretation, his smooth tone, and his technical proficiency. His name became associated with musical perfection.

Heifetz studied violin from age three and at six performed Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
At nine he entered the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory, where he studied; his first Berlin appearance was in 1912 which led to an invitation to play Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic. He toured Europe from age 12.

In 1917 he fled the Russian Revolution via Siberia and made his American debut at Carnegie Hall, New York City. He became a U.S. citizen in 1925 and toured the world giving concerts.

Heifetz’s specialized collection is from the earliest stamps through the 1960s about anything connected with music (such as musicians, composers, musical instruments, etc.) and continuing on form the 1960s to cover composers, musical manuscripts, and designs which are directly connected with the theme “music” but omitting minor varieties where the connection with music would be an unimportant minor background part of the stamp design (such as a symbolic musical instrument in a tiny coat-of-arms which in itself is a minor part of the design).