Babel's "The Awakening" is set in Odessa circa 1910 or so, and begins with all the parents dreaming of their children being discovered as musical prodigies:
And sure enough, over the last few decades our town had sent a number of child prodigies onto the stages of the world. Mischa Elman, Zimbalist, Gawrilowitsch all came from Odessa -- Jascha Heifetz started out with us.
--Babel, Collected Stories, W.W. Norton edition (Peter Constantine trans.), 2002, page 392
Later in the story, the first-person narrator's father tells "a new story about Jascha Heifetz."
...father had run into Mendelson, Jascha's uncle. It turned out the boy was getting 800 rubles per performance.
I found this surprising, because Jascha Heifetz was from Vilnius, Lithuania, quite far from Odessa, and according to his Wikipedia page, he was born there. My question is, did Heifetz really have a family connection to Odessa? Or are we to infer that the parents are telling tall tales in order to convince their children to dutifully practice violin instead of (like Babel's narrator) hanging out with sailors down by the port?