Jerusalem (Feb. 22)
Jerusalem turned out in force to-day to attend a concert given by Jasha Heifetz, the famous Jewish violinist, at the New Edison Hall. The High Commissioner, General Sir Arthur Wauchope, was present in the audience. Heifetz was given an enthusiastic reception.
Heifetz has taken a very close interest in the movement which was launched a few years ago by the famous pianist Loon Godowsky to establish a conservatoire in Palestine. He has visited Palestine before and in 1926 he gave his first concert in Jerusalem before a crowded audience including Lady Samuel, wife of the former High Commissioner, Colonel Symes, who was Acting High Commissioner, Dr. Weizmann, and many Government officials. He scored a tremendous triumph, and was given endless ovations. The stage was snowed under with flowers and bouquets. All the proceeds of a series of five concerts which he gave in Palestine that year, he said, would be devoted to the establishment of a concert hall in Jerusalem as part of the projected Jewish conservatorie of music.
Speaking of the movement to establish the Conservatoire in Palestine under his direction, he suggested that the conservatoire should be built on a site adjoining the Hebrew University, to serve as a centre for Oriental musical culture. Prominent Jewish teachers of music in Europe and America would teach at the conservatoire and would promote the study of both Jewish and oriental music and also of world music. The conservatoire would accept students in the orient as well as from Europe and America.
Godowsky and I, he said, have taken on ourselves the establishment of the Conservatoire, not because of Zionism, but because we are convinced that a Hebrew conservatoire will be the most valuable element in a movement for the brotherhood of the peoples.
I am not and shall not be a Zionist in the political meaning of the word, he said in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. But I have always had an interest in Palestine, and when I heard of the love for art and music which exists here, I decided to help Palestine. Certainly, when a centre of art and culture is established in Palestine, it will also increase the economic strength of the country. So, too, will our artistic effort contribute to the growth of Palestine in general. The country has made a deep impression on me, and I hope to return. I would like to visit Palestine each year, and to stay here for some time.
With regard to what would be done with the proceeds of his concert in Palestine, Heifetz said that he hoped that it would be possible with this money to build a concert hall in Jerusalem which would be gradually enlarged and converted into a national conservatoire. I hope the idea of a Jewish conservatoire in Palestine will not remain a dream and that it will be realised in the near future, he concluded.