Every week, we dip in to our incredible multimedia archive to share with you some of the remarkable performances captured in concert at the Heifetz Institute. Whether it’s in our “home base” of Mary Baldwin University’s Francis Auditorium, in the Blackfriars Playhouse of the American Shakespeare Center, under the Hootenanny Tent, or any of our other venues, the video cameras and audio cameras are rolling at every single Heifetz performance in the summertime, the better for us to share the musical magic that happens here with the world.
So, in addition to the “regular” Video of the Week feature, once a year we share those videos that have struck the most responsive chord with our viewers. Click here to see the 2016 results, and see below for our “Top Ten of Twenty Seventeen!” And if you like these, there are a whole lot more where they came from, and more highlights from our 2017 season still to come! So check out our YouTube channel and subscribe, so you don’t miss any of the many more videos that are in the pipeline!
10. Mendelssohn’s High-Octane Octet: A work of “precocious genius,” raves violinist Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo Quartet, but also the mature product of his upbringing. Check out the blazing performance by an all-star cast of Heifetz Institute faculty: Violinists Kitchen and Kristopher Tong of the Borromeo Quartet joining Mihaela Martin and Daniel Phillips; violists Mai Motobuchi of the Borromeos with Jutta Puchhammer, and cellists Yeesun Kim (Borromeos) and Frans Helmerson. Whew!
9. The Trout Fully Dressed: A rare opportunity to hear the original Schubert song “embedded” in a complete performance of the composer’s beloved “Trout” Quintet. Soprano Carol Mastrodomenico enters after the third movement to join the merry band anchored by the son-and-father duo of pianist Andrew and double bassist Bruce Rosenblum, peforming together on stage for the very first time. Joining the fishy frolic: Violinist Ji-Won Song, violist Daniel Burmeister, and cellist Thomas Mesa. Anglers Aweigh!
8. Patriotic Fervor: The Heifetz Institute’s two youngest students, 14-year-old violinists Sarah Ma from Garden City, NY, and Daniel Bae from Lubbock, TX, take the stage at the annual outdoor “Opening Concert and Convocation” to kick off the Heifetz summer season with a bang!
7. Beethoven’s 7th, for 5: Violinist Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo Quartet (the Quartet-in-Residence at the Heifetz Institute recruits his wife (cellist Yeesun Kim of the Borromeos), and three #Heifetz2017 students: violinist Hannah Cho, and violists Emily Liu and Isabella Bignasca to play the modern premiere of a 200-year old arrangement of a Beethoven symphony. One prominent critic labeled it “weirdly effective.”
6. Souvenir de Staunton: Every summertime concert at the Heifetz Institute is a special experience, but nothing quite matches the Grand Finale concert experince, particularly when all 82 students of the summer program take the stage (and the backstage, and even the aisles!) for a final, farewell performance of the last movement of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence that invariably raises the roof and lets loose a flood of tears. Just watch!
5. Hallelujah, It’s a Wonderful World: As we said, the entire Grand Finale concert at the Heifetz Institute is an emotional experience, full of poignant moments and unscripted surprises. Like the time that faculty member Amit Peled and his ‘Band of Gypsies’ offered this emotional encore:
4. A Viola Virtuoso Plays Paganini For 4: “Thought he founded his reputation on the brilliance and agility of the violin, Paganini harbored a special fondness for the dark throatiness of the viola.” Heifetz Institute faculty member Roberto Díaz joins guitarist Robby Brown, cellist Mo Mo, and violinist Diana Do Hyung Kim to play the unusual five-movement “Viola Quartet No. 15” by Niccolo Paganini.
3. Poppin’ Popper: Did we mention that our Grand Finale concert invariably sells out months in advance? Here’s yet another performance from the 2017 farewell concert: Amit Peled is back with his “Gypsy Band” – cellists Ismael Guerrero, Julia Rosenbaum, and Dilshod Narziliaev – transforming Francis Auditorium into a smoky Budapest cafe….
2. Mozart, à la Sarasate: “It doesn’t follow the plot, exactly, but you will hear some of Tamino’s Magic Flute and Papageno’s Magic Bells.” 2017 Artist in Residence Ji-Won Song makes some magic happen onstage at Francis Auditorium in Spanish composer/violinist Pablo de Sarasate’s devilishly difficulty “Concert Fantasy on Mozart’s Magic Flute.” Jun Cho is the pianist.
1. Sein An Plays a Purloined Pearl: Violinist Eugène Ysaÿe, explains 19-year-old Heifetz 2017 violinist Sein An, was a big guy with an outsized reputation as the leading virtuoso of his time. Sein channels the burly Belgian in one of the longest-titled pieces in the repertory Caprice d’après l’étude en forme de valse de Saint-Saëns, a stunning arrangement of the sixth of Saint-Saëns’ Op. 52 Etudes for piano, with the help of pianist Dina Vainshtein!