heifeitz plays ping pong

January 27, 2007 at 12:38 AM · what sport/exercise do you do besides the stick on the box? and why?

Replies (49)

January 27, 2007 at 12:40 AM · I like yoga, and, less romantic than that, the stationary bike works...

January 27, 2007 at 04:25 AM · My favorite excercise is reading Buri's posts. - It's a great workout for the eyes!


FWIW, Menuhin was a HUGE proponent of Yoga, though he didn't officially use that term.

January 27, 2007 at 01:10 AM · I play Tennis, Ping Pong and Volleyball.

I also like to play mud football but there aren't any open fields in the city.

Tennis because I have played all my life and competed in juniors.

Ping pong because when it gets cold in the city, the best alternative is ping pong -- but even with more crazy spins. Sucks though, that the ball tends to break easily.

Volleyball because I love playing in coordinated teams.


Oh, and Heifetz and Perlman played a lot of tennis as well. My law professors do too!

January 27, 2007 at 01:13 AM · I like to beat up families who back out of lessons during the third week of the semester, right after I've turned down four prospective clients--

--er, I mean yoga. Yeah, yoga's good.

January 27, 2007 at 01:27 AM · soccer soccer and soccer!! The official sport of musicians (or so it seems to me)

January 27, 2007 at 02:40 AM · SCUBA diving and soccer!

January 27, 2007 at 03:39 AM · I'm quite the soccer fanatic but haven't played in a while (too cold!). I just started taking a yoga class and I like it. Seems to help with violin playing, for balance and relaxation. :)

I've heard that Szigeti was a huge fan of cricket, of all things.

January 27, 2007 at 09:56 AM · Alligator wrestling. Jumping motorcycles over cars. Free climbing giant cliffs.

January 27, 2007 at 05:41 AM · Gardening--I grow alot of our food.

Hunting--yep, it's a theme.

Fishing--I see a theme here.

Reading--food for the brain.

Canning--I'm a domesticated divo.

guitar, piano, banjo--I'm also hyper.

violin--I'm also addled.

collecting money for Jim's bail.

January 27, 2007 at 06:49 AM · I cycle to work everyday with my violin strapped to my back and to keep in trim for this I go hiking on occasional Sundays with a rucksack strepped to my back.Ouch!!

January 27, 2007 at 03:09 PM · I like to go walking, and when I visit my parents, I go to the track with my Dad and play the ponies.

Yoga is good too.

January 27, 2007 at 03:11 PM · The story about Heifetz and ping pong is that he was an avid player and one day invited a national ping pong champion over to his house for a few hours of the game. Afterwards, Heifetz said, "You've given me a few hours of your art; now let me give you some of mine. What would you like me to play for you?"

This is an opportunity that anyone who has ever put their hands on a violin would drool over - the chance to hear Jascha Heifetz up close as near as the computer monitor you're reading this on.

Instead, this ping pong champ said: "Naw, thanks anyway, but I hate that kind of music."



January 27, 2007 at 06:31 PM · Yeah haha, that's a funny story about Heifetz. My teacher used to talk about his ping pong games with Heifetz. He said no matter how hard he would slam the ball Heifetz would return it :)

Used to play ice hockey in middle school. I still play pickup inline hockey with my friends from high school..

January 27, 2007 at 11:09 PM · I think D Oistrakh played chess.

January 28, 2007 at 12:51 AM · Greetings,

yes he did. To a very high level. Loads of Russians do. I think it ha ssoemthign to do with the weather.



January 28, 2007 at 12:51 AM · Greetings,

yes he did. To a very high level. Loads of Russians do. I think it ha ssoemthign to do with the weather.



January 28, 2007 at 01:56 AM · Ilya Gringolts can execute a very elegant plié, and a ravishing grand jeté.

January 28, 2007 at 03:28 AM · I heard Mr. Oistrakh actually beat some chess champion in a match.

January 28, 2007 at 04:33 AM · Not to mention challenged Prokofiev to a high-stakes chess match--whoever lost had to give a recital :)

January 28, 2007 at 04:56 AM · What the chess champion Mikhail Tal the fella that D Oistrakh beat in a chess game?

January 28, 2007 at 05:09 AM · Don't know much about chess. Would like to but haven't gotten around to it.

I go for a brisk (very brisk, if I can manage it) walk along a creek/river in the late afternoons for about half an hour. 15 out and 15 back. On the weekends, I have access to a 14 acre hilly property I can walk up and down on (no bulls or mad stallions around to chase me; though once I nearly trod on a 5 foot brown snake which is just about the world's most venemous snake (Steve would have known all about it --his zoo is just down the road from me). I have plenty of time to think about whatever needs thinking about, as I walk along. Hopefully I am avoiding damaging my knees etc too much in the long term as I might if I jogged.

January 28, 2007 at 07:09 AM · It seems like everyone else here gets more down-to-earth exercise away from their instruments...I just try and hit the gym at least 4 days a week, for some kind of activity. Also, when the mood strikes, I take a swim.

However, I always get funny looks when people see me with my iPod, and score, breakig a sweat...It's just part of being a music student.

January 28, 2007 at 09:09 AM · Well..yoga..then 'sports' restricted to those who have nearly a dozen naughty cats roaming in the house- cat-watching and cat-chasing and cat-discipling..but at the end of this really fantastic workout,the cats end up discipling you..:)


January 28, 2007 at 03:25 PM · I have a stationary bike too, and I walk my daughter to school every morning (about a mile) on my way to work. Sometimes I run for and catch an early bus that goes by a stop near to her school. But I usually miss that one and then walk another mile to catch a different one.

January 28, 2007 at 03:33 PM · I get up at 5:10 Monday-Friday to work out (cardio and weight training). I also work out either on Saturday or Sunday (so I take off one day per week). I also play ice hockey once per week in a high-level men's league. Unfortunately I will be undergoing a 4th leg surgery next week (I had a severe tibula/fibula fracture 5 years ago). Suffice it to say, i'm in pretty damn good shape for a 37 year old, but I work extremely hard keeping my physical condition in tip-top shape.


January 29, 2007 at 02:54 PM · Hi,

I used to be an avid jogger (5K to 10K 5 to 6 times a week) until a knee injury last summer. It is starting to heal and I can do power-walking on the treadmill now, fairly fast and with the equivalent of a mountain hike.

That said, I find that excercise is often neglected by musicians. It helps to avoid injuries since a body in shape is better as the violin is physically quite demanding. I had to stop for several months. I felt like crap. At least, now it`s a little bit better.


January 29, 2007 at 08:44 PM · I also love ping pong. I was fortunate to learn from my father, who was a semifinalist for the South Korean National Ping Pong team, so I got my butt whooped many times. :) The hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes are great for musicians. Robert Lipsett and Josh Bell are supposedly great ping pong players too.

I also play tennis (played some junior USTA events in high school) and love to hike, especially the Rockies.

January 29, 2007 at 03:05 PM · Seconded about Mr. Lipsett and ping pong--my first summer at Encore, Mr. Cerone was giving us the big speech about "be good to your colleagues, don't do drugs", etc., but he managed to throw in a few jokes that year: after his prohibition of all things alcoholic, smokeable, or illegal, he said "However, kimchi is permitted, in small amounts." And then, as he was generally telling us to behave, he said "Now, you cannot hold us legally responsible if you decide to tax both your mental and physical health by playing ping-pong with Mr. Lipsett..." LOL

January 29, 2007 at 04:31 PM · i also used to play a lot of tennis and ping pong. at high level, ping pong seems to be more physically demanding and intense. i would think if you are right handed, the swinging motion with the pingpong paddle should parallel to the bowing motion and yet the limb muscles are strong but not bulky and cumbersome. also, similarity in wrist control. murphy's law? i am left handed.

also, a good solid match in ping pong takes much less time than tennis,,,fit a violinist's life better?:)

here is clip of buri showing use of a bow arm.


January 29, 2007 at 08:09 PM · "buri tries to type on a keyboard..."

That was HILARIOUS! :) :) :) We love you, Buri.

January 29, 2007 at 09:54 PM · Yes, David Oistrakh was a very talented chess player, and the match Prokofiev-Oistrakh got a lot of coverage -Oistrakh ended up winning.

Futbol (or soccer as people call it here) is certainly responsible for me being a much worse violinist than I could be. Other than that its chess, tennis and ping-pong.

January 29, 2007 at 10:19 PM · Igor Pikayzen,

Wonder if you played in Malaysia before on tour years ago? I seem to remember your name (or was the player Politkovsky?). Thanks, Lee

January 29, 2007 at 11:38 PM · Lee, I never visited Malaysia - it could have been Igor Politkovsky or maybe my grandfather Viktor Pikayzen, who is also a famous violinist.



January 30, 2007 at 05:51 AM · Are you also a professional violinist (like the rest of the family), Igor?

January 30, 2007 at 07:11 AM · I used to be a competitive tennis and table tennis player, but long gone are those days.

I'm now a competitive cyclist and occasionally I'll compete in rock climbing events.

January 30, 2007 at 12:59 PM · Hi,

Igor - you are Viktor Pikayzen's grandson!!! I remember your dad well. He was teaching masterclasses at the Domaine Forget in Canada when I was a kid doing summer sessions there. I also remember the performances - two fantastic recitals and a great Mendelssohn Double Concerto with his Daughter (perhaps your mother?). Wow! That brings back a lot of memories. I hope that they are both doing well.



January 30, 2007 at 05:43 PM · Well I am currently studying in Juilliard, trying to follow in the footsteps of my family...

Yes, Christian, it was my mother and grandfather who performed the Mendelssohn at Domaine Forget - they've been playing together for many years. They are both doing quite well - its truly a small musical world, isn't it?



March 21, 2007 at 04:27 PM · i play handball, badminton, pingpong, and basketball.

i also lift weights.

March 21, 2007 at 05:17 PM · I play soccer. It keeps my hands out of the way and is great exercise, not to mention a lot of fun! I also run cross country, but it's not as much fun ;-)

March 21, 2007 at 08:37 PM · i throw sight, give lifts (for friends without car), run on scales (sometimes arpegios)... and of course jump arround all day producing almost nothing.

badminton(tough) soccer(hilarious) chess(dummy)

March 21, 2007 at 08:24 PM · Igor, i had once a summer course with your grandfather in Brasov - Romania. I am very glad you refreshed my memories by posting here. Thanks man. Great man and violinist your grandfather!

March 21, 2007 at 09:29 PM · Before we moved out of Colorado I loved mountain biking in the Summer and skiing in the Winter. Now that we're in St Louis and biking is very dangerous on the roads I hit the gym a lot. Have physical (fun) fights with our Daughter and Son when they're here. I never win as they're both incredibly strong and one has a black belt and the other a red in Tae Kwon Do. I always end up smashed into the ground, both hands locked behind me and my face in the mud. One of these years I'll win. Yeah right.

March 21, 2007 at 10:33 PM · When I was a kid I was keen on playing cricket, soccer, (grass) hockey and swimming (competitively). I have dabbled a bit in chess, reaching a fair level but hardly anything great.

I play ping pong whenever I get the opportunity, which is far too seldom, I cycle quite a lot (up to 30km in a day) in an urban environment, and I'm surprised nobody's mentioned this sport until now but I'm a keen pool and snooker player, as are many other musicians and violinists in the area.

March 21, 2007 at 10:35 PM · I ride a recumbent bike - but difficult to take an instrument on. If I needed to do this I also have an Xtracycle for haulage/luggage carrying. If they're gonna hit my fiddle they'll have to hit me as well, so no trailer.

March 22, 2007 at 02:37 AM · During the school year, I lift (light) weights, run, a little yoga/pilates, and eventually ride horses (once I get a car). I used to ride horses all the time (4th grade through halfway through 12th grade). During the summer I like casual biking and swimming. I used to play soccer and take ballet/tap (both one season), but I hated them.

March 22, 2007 at 03:00 AM · I Scuba Dive, Rock Climb, Swim, Surf (not very good), Hike, Lift weights, and I used to play football and volleyball but don't any more because of the danger to my hands. I'm going to begin mountain biking next year when I move from CT.


March 22, 2007 at 09:12 AM · Hey, aren't you that Hawes boy that playes the violin?

March 22, 2007 at 01:03 PM · When I lived in warmer climes I was an avid hiker and enthusiastic if incompetent ultimate frisbee player. Now I haul my rear across Boston University's two mile long (but 2 BLOCK wide) campus between classes and home as rapidly as possible and hope it's enough to keep my blood circulating!

March 22, 2007 at 03:10 PM · Emily,

Hardy Har Har! ;-)

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