Zina Schiff


Unlikely as it might seem, relatively few of Jascha Heifetz's students ever found their way to the mainstream concert pool; there are some real gems among these former students, though, and virtuoso Zina Schiff is one of them. Schiff studied with the great master in the late '60s before moving on to studies with the famed pedagogue Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music. Later, she took a master's degree in liberal arts from Louisiana State University. Schiff first came to national attention when she was featured as a soloist on Maurice Jarre's soundtrack to the 1968 film The Fixers (MGM, starring Alan Bates) -- the first, but not the last, time she would put her name on a project exploring Jewish themes. As an undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, Schiff was featured in a Glamour magazine article about "College Winners."

Schiff's name has never been a household one, and she has made only about ten compact disc recordings. But her sweet tone and vigorous interpretations have been welcome wherever she has traveled -- from the Newport, RI, festival to PBS broadcasts from New York and Boston -- and she has been the recipient of a San Francisco Symphony Foundation Award and a grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music. She has recorded a diverse repertoire for the Stradivari, 4-Tay, and Naxos labels; among them are a 1996 disc of Jewish music, titled King David's Lyre: A Celebration of Jerusalem 3000, and Here's One, a 1997 volume of Americana. Like Heifetz, Schiff has made her home in California.