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Press Releases

Heifetz International Music Institute Announces 2021 Festival of Concerts

June 10, 2021 | By Andrew Green
Heifetz Institute
 The Institute’s 25th Anniversary Season will features 50 concerts and events across Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley
Staunton, VA, June 9, 2021 - The sounds and swells of string instruments will again fill the summer air in Staunton, as the Heifetz International Music Institute today announced an ambitious 50-concert lineup for its 2021 Festival of Concerts. This season will mark the Institute’s 25th Anniversary, and its 10th year in Staunton. The renowned program, which attracts top young classical musicians from around the world, will return to presenting a robust series of in-person concerts from June 29 - August 6, 2021 featuring the Institute’s extraordinary students, acclaimed teaching faculty, alumni, and special guests. 
“After creating an entirely online summer program and the accompanying Rubato virtual concert series in 2020, we are thrilled to be welcoming students back to the Mary Baldwin University campus, and our audiences back to our concert venues,” noted Heifetz Institute President & CEO Benjamin K. Roe “But we will not forget the lessons and innovations of the pandemic year. We will continue to offer both virtual concerts featuring our students studying remotely, while all of our concerts in Staunton will be video live-streamed, offering our newfound audiences around the world the chance to experience the top-flight artistry and visceral energy of a Heifetz concert.” 
The Institute is highly competitive, enrolling 98 students in the primary program for violin, viola, cello, and doublebass, as well the exclusive Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar. To moderate health and safety risks, the program will feature phased arrival and departure by the student body on a weekly basis, with both in-person and online learning, performing, and collaborating taking place synchronously. These elite young musicians from across the globe attend the Institute’s summer program located on the campus of Mary Baldwin University to develop their technical skills as well as their own distinct musical personalities. In addition to an instrumental faculty considered among the top ranks of summer programs, with members from such institutions as The Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, and New England Conservatory, the Heifetz Institute is recognized worldwide for its unique Performance & Communication Training method, which empowers young performers to perfect their artistry by developing their physical, mental, and emotional range through training in Drama, Yoga, Freedom of Expression, and Dance. HeifetzPEG (Program for the Exceptionally Gifted), for musicians ages 9-14, will enroll an additional 54 students online.
The Institute's extensive Festival of Concerts serves as the experiential proving ground for both the intense string instruction as well as the Communication Training curriculum, with students performing in nearly daily concert presentations, featuring solo and chamber music masterworks, as well as lesser known repertoire with an emphasis on underrepresented composers. “It is a truly great pleasure to invite the community to these live concerts once again,” said Heifetz Institute Artistic Director Nicolas Kitchen. “We learned a lot about online music in 2020, but it is with a full heart that we look forward to sharing music in person. From the Stars of Tomorrow series in which we showcase the spectacular young artists studying at the Institute to the Celebrity Series where we celebrate the musical mastery of our faculty with works by Brahms, Martinu, Hailstork, Bach, Montgomery, Dohnanyi, and Tchaikovsky, it will be our great privilege to share this timeless music together.” In addition to concerts in traditional venues, the Institute’s artists perform at church services, soup kitchens, school programs, and health care facilities, including the innovative HeartStrings partnership with Augusta Health that offered virtual bedside concerts during the pandemic.
Tickets, season passes, and information are available at Photos may be downloaded here.
Season highlights include:
  • Stars of Tomorrow - The Institute’s signature series showcases extraordinary Heifetz students, visiting alumni artists, and the outstanding Heifetz piano faculty. (First Presbyterian Church; Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  • Fridays at the Gallery - Continuing the Heifetz tradition of free weekday concerts, musicians will present intimate concerts in the gallery among exhibitions from artists throughout the Shenandoah Valley. (Staunton Augusta Arts Center; Friday Afternoons)
  • Celebrity Series - The virtuosic Heifetz Institute faculty members present these carefully conceived programs showcasing top performers in the concert music world. (First Presbyterian Church; Friday Evenings)
  • Heifetz Hootenannies - The Saturday evening multi-genre mash-ups moves to the Blackburn Inn’s expansive new Great Hall, where you might hear bluegrass picking, Broadway belting, folk fiddling, or rollicking rhythm and blues. (Blackburn Inn Great Hall; Saturday Evenings)
  • Chock Full O’Bach - Continuing another innovation from 2020, Heifetz students, alumni, and faculty will offer a daily performance of a work by J.S. Bach, streaming online every day during the course of the institute at 9 AM.
  • Sunday Matinees - Featuring Heifetz students, faculty, students, alumni, and special guests in invariably memorable performances tailored for summer Sunday afternoons. (First Presbyterian Church; Sunday Afternoons)
  • Heifetz in The Vineyard - The beautiful setting of Barren Ridge presents an ideal backdrop for an exploration of the string sound, with presentations both in the ballroom and en plein air, perfectly paired with their award winning wines and unrivaled scenery. (Barren Ridge Vineyards; July 11, 18)
  • Independence Day Celebration - Celebrate the holiday with some fine fiddling and other music fit for the Glorious Fourth as our Heifetz musicians head over the mountain to Charlottesville for a free, patriotic “picnic concert” at the historic home of James Monroe, the nation’s fifth president (Monroe's Highland (Charlottesville, VA) - July 3)
  • PianoPalooza - The one night a summer reserved for our outstanding faculty pianists! They get a night of their own to display their keyboard wizardry in an evening of multi-handed piano pyrotechnics. (First Presbyterian Church; July 19)
  • HeifetzPEG Showcase Concerts - Four programs displaying the remarkable talents of the students enrolled in the Heifetz program for gifted string players aged 9 - 14. (Streaming on July 10, 17, 31, and Aug. 7) 
  • Grand Finale & Farewell Feast - An extraordinary evening of music and community in which every one of our Heifetz Institute students performs in a rousing concert brimming with fire, passion, and virtuosity. It's then followed by the "Farewell Feast," where students, faculty, and audience members break bread for a poignant and uniquely Staunton summer ritual. (Blackburn Inn SummerStage; August 6)
About the Heifetz International Music Institute
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary Year in 2021, The Heifetz International Music Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the artistic growth and career development of the most talented and promising young musicians in the world. The Institute's renowned summer program is held on the campus of Mary Baldwin in Staunton, VA each summer, welcoming advanced young string players (violin, viola, cello, and doublebass) through a highly selective audition process. Through its innovative and cross-disciplinary Heifetz Performance & Communication Training , the Institute teaches musicians to communicate the emotion of music, beyond mere technical agility and beautiful playing, to explore their creative potential, and to redefine the concert experience.



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