With Veteran's Day coming Saturday, Performance Today explores a vivid chapter in the life of violinist Jascha Heifetz. Heifetz was born in Lithuania, but he became an American citizen — and an avid American patriot — for the rest of his life. During WWII, Heifetz played more than 300 USO shows for American servicemen and women, sometimes near the front, in perilous surroundings.
PT host Fred Child offers a portrait of Heifetz during the war, with vintage audio, interviews and stories from those who knew him best. Expect some surprises about the man known as a serious player of the classical violin: We'll look at Heifetz the jazz pianist, and even his little-known career as a pop songwriter.