- He once told a reporter he wanted his obituary to be short - "just make it born in Russia, first lesson at 3, debut at 7, debut in America in 1917".
- My two favorite dishes. I never get enough. Of course, both must be the best.
- On seeing a buffet table with only two dishes, enormous bowls of caviar, and platters of hot dogs.
- National Review, Jan 22, 1988 by Schuyler Chapin
- I occasionally play works by contemporary composers and for two reasons. First to discourage the composer from writing any more and secondly to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven.
- If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.
- There is no top. There are always further heights to reach.
- I have discovered three things which know no geographical borders - classical music, American jazz, and applause as the sign of the public's favor.
- Can you appreciate music without playing it? Yes, you can. You can appreciate baseball without playing it. Many people attend a football game merely for the crowd, the excitement, the color.
- No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.
- Criticism does not disturb me, for I am my own severest critic. Always in my playing I strive to surpass myself, and it is this constant struggle that makes music fascinating to me.
- For almost a century, Jascha Heifetz was the performer all others wished to emulate, a genius whose technique and musicianship earned him accolades as "the perfect violinist".