Heifetz Institute announces 20th anniversary Festival of Concerts

newspaper-headerThis summer, a record 95 students from 22 states across the nation and 15 countries from around the globe will descend on Mary Baldwin College to participate in the 20th Anniversary Heifetz International Music Institute and its 2016 Festival of Concerts.

From the Opening Concert and Convocation on July 2 to the Grand Finale and Farewell Feast on August 11, the Institute’s world-class faculty performers, alumni Artists in Residence, and brilliant young students will present no fewer than 45 public concerts, symposia, and special events, in and around historic downtown Staunton, Virginia, named one of “the Best Small Towns in America” bySmithsonian magazine.

“Our 20th Anniversary is a moment for us to celebrate this milestone accomplishment for the audience-focused, communicative mission of the Institute, as unique today as when we started in 1996,” notes Founder & Artistic Director Daniel Heifetz. “More importantly, this summer represents a significant new chapter in the Institute’s growth – with a concert every day of the week  – as well as the evolution of our now-five-year partnership with Mary Baldwin College, including the launch of the HeifetzPEGprogram, modeled after MBC’s acclaimed Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and our joint Take Your Seat! campaign to refurbish our ‘home arena’ of Francis Auditorium.”

The Institute has lined up a number of guest artists, noted alumni, speakers, and special events to celebrate its 20th Anniversary Season, as well as a brand new series: the Heifetz Summer Symposium, aseries of free public lectures by notable figures in the world of music, medicine, and journalism, will kick off Monday, July 4th, at 7:30 pm in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Theatre and continue every Monday night thereafter, preceded by a short “prelude concert” by the youngest Heifetz performers.

Monday the 4th of July will also feature the start of Heifetz at the Temple House, free noontime concerts held every Monday in the historic synagogue in the city’s downtown, as well as a Heifetz InstituteFourth of July concert at Monroe’s Highland, the Charlottesville home of Founding Father James Monroe, the nation’s fifth president.

Audiences will get their first look at the freshly-refurbished James D. Francis Auditorium, (replete with new seats, carpeting, lights, and more, thanks to the joint Heifetz/MBC Take Your Seat! campaign) onTuesday, July 5 with the start of the Stars of Tomorrow concert series, taking place on Tuesday,Wednesday, and Thursday nights during the course of the summer Institute. Stars of Tomorrow concerts are mainly devoted to solo performances by the Institute’s students in collaboration with our faculty pianists.

The Celebrity Series Happy Hour Concerts will return again on Fridays, offering “pairings” of notable Virginia beverages with great music. The “Happy Hours” feature local wineries, retailers and gourmet food purveyors offering tastings and nibbles every Friday afternoon starting at 5 pm, before concertgoers settle in to hear an extraordinary concert by Heifetz faculty and guests at 6 pm.

The renowned nine-time Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet will take center stage at the openingFriday night Celebrity Series concert, on July 8, the Institute’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Concert & Dinner,featuring locally-sourced provisions from Barren Ridge Vineyards, Mike Lund Food, Three Notch’d Brewing Company, Shenandoah Hops, and Paris Cake Company.

The Festival’s Saturday night Heifetz Hootenannies will have a new home in 2016 – the big new “Heifetz Tent” on Mary Baldwin College’s Page Terrace. The wildly popular new series features Heifetz students “stretching out” in informal multi-genre jam sessions ranging from classical to blues, jazz, folk, roots, and pop, often in collaboration with surprise guest artists. The first “Hoot” with be An Evening With Chic Street Man and Friends on Saturday, July 9, featuring the beloved bluesman and Heifetz Institute Communication Training teacher.

Also back for a second season will be the HeifetzSunday Matinees, taking place in Francis Auditorium at 2 pm. Wrapping up the weekend, these delightful programs showcase the talents of the students, faculty, and Artists in Residence. The 2016 series begins on Sunday, July 10, with a program called “Mostly Mozart,” featuring violinist and Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar co-director Shmuel Ashkenasi joined by a select group of students and alumni.

For a complete listing of the 2016 Festival of Concerts visit www.HeifetzInstitute.org. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the Heifetz Box Office and Gift Shop located at 107 East Beverley Street, Staunton, or at the door prior to each performance.


About The Heifetz International Music Institute

Founded 20 years ago in 1996, The Heifetz International Music Institute is held on the campus of Mary Baldwin College, located in Staunton, Virginia for six weeks each summer. The Institute is highly selective, as hundreds of the most brilliant and deserving young string players (violin, viola, and cello) from all over the globe apply to the Institute for only 80 openings.

In 2015, students from 12 countries and throughout the U.S. were admitted to the Institute for studies with world-renowned faculty, participation in the Institute’s “Celebrity Series,” “Stars of Tomorrow” “Heifetz Hootenannies,” and other festival performances, instruction in the Institute’s signatureHeifetz Performance and Communication Training©, featuring classes in Voice, Public Speaking, Drama, Wellness, Movement, and Freedom of Expression, in addition to intense private lessons and chamber music coaching. In 2012, the Institute formed a partnership with Mary Baldwin College and moved to Staunton.

Heifetz On Tour, the Institute’s National Program of Outreach and Career Development, consists of year-round concerts and residencies throughout the country, forming partnerships with school systems and cultural institutions in both major cites and rural areas, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Jamestown, RI Arts Center.

For more information visit www.heifetzinstitute.org.