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Miklós Rózsa

Biographical Sketch

Rózsa and Heifetz

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Miklós Rózsa and Jascha Heifetz

In 1953, Rózsa consulted Heifetz (through Emanuel Bey) on the subject of a violin concerto that he proposed to write. Ascertaining that the violinist showed an interest in such a possibility, the composer set off from California to the Italian Riviera where he wrote this concerto in six weeks. Upon its completion, Rózsa again made contact with Heifetz, and after several months of collaboration, the work was pronounced satisfactory to both parties and ready for performance. Rózsa had, of course, dedicated the work to Heifetz, and it had its first presentation on this occasion in Dallas, Texas, on 15 January 1956. The following comments were supplied by the composer for the program notes at its premiere:

The Concerto is in three movements and although the orchestra is treated throughout contrapuntally, it is not an orchestral work with obbligato violin solo, but a real Concerto in the best sense of the word, giving ample opportunities for the display of the soloist’s technical powers and tonal qualities. With Heifetz’s artistry in mind, Rózsa felt no limit in either direction and the Concerto therefore demands the utmost in violin playing. The folk music of his native country has since his childhood exercised a lasting influence on him, and although he never uses folk-material, the melodic and rhythmic characteristics of the true Hungarian folk music are the dominating factors in the development of his musical style.

Publicity photograph of Rózsa and Heifetz studying the score of the
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

Program from the world premier of Rózsa’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Sunday, 15 January 1956 in Dallas, Texas. The orchestra was the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with Walter Hendl conducting and Jascha Heifetz as soloist.

First recording of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

Publicity photograph of Rózsa, Heifetz, and Walter Hendl (music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra) preparing for the premiere of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

Rózsa’s copy of the score of his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Library
Syracuse, NY 13244
Last modified: June 09, 2012 12:35 PM
URL: http://libwww.syr.edu /digital/exhibits/r/RozsaWaxman/rozsaheifetz.htm