Russian-American violinist Jascha Heifetz was born on February 2, in 1901. Born in Vilna (Vilnius), he moved as a teenager to the United States, where his Carnegie Hall debut was rapturously received. He was a virtuoso since childhood – Fritz Kreisler, another leading violinist of the twentieth century, said on hearing Heifetz’s debut, “We might as well take our fiddles and break them across our knees.”
Late in life, Heifetz became a dedicated teacher and a champion of socio-political causes. He publicly advocated to establish 911 as an emergency phone number, and crusaded for clean air. He and his students at the University of Southern California protested smog by wearing gas masks, and in 1967, he converted his Renault passenger car into an electric vehicle. He died in 1987. Read more (Wikipedia).