Heifetz on Tour, our national program of outreach and career development, has a series of concerts and events taking place in both Washington, DC, and the Shenandoah Valley designed to raise awareness and funds for the Institute’s 20th Anniversary Summer Program, taking place from June 30th to August 11th, 2016, on the campus of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton.
The March tour features four outstanding artists connected to the Institute: Alumni standouts Yezu Woo, violin; Emma Wernig, viola; Coleman Itzkoff, cello, along with faculty pianist Anton Smirnoff. Both individually and in combinations, the quartet of artists will present a varied and engaging program that will include solo works, by turns soulful and dazzling, and stirring performances of chamber music masterworks by Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms.
The concert tour will kick off on Thursday, March 17th, at the Kreeger Museum of Art in Washington, DC. The Kreeger was designed in 1963 by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Phillip Johnson to serve simultaneously as a recital hall for music, a gallery, and a private home for arts patrons David Lloyd and Carmen Kreeger. As such, it has become a favorite location for Heifetz Institute musicians to present their “masterpieces among the masterworks”. The concert begins at 7:30 pm, with a reception afterwards to toast the Institute’s 20th Anniversary Year. Get tickets here.
After another informal noontime presentation of “Coffee, Biscuits, and a Bit o’ Bach” at the Middlebrook General Store on Saturday, March 19th, the Heifetz troupe will be among the first to perform at the newly renovated Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, VA.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this incredible civic accomplishment by the City of Waynesboro, the Wayne Theatre Association, and all of the many supporters who made this vision for a revitalized performance space in the heart of downtown Waynesboro,” notes Executive Director Benjamin K. Roe. “We hope it will be the start of many a Heifetz performance in this impressive new space.” Click here for tickets!
The Tour will conclude with an intimate Sunday afternoon benefit concert and reception at the Temple House of Israel in downtown Staunton. This historic Moorish Revival building designed by Sam Collins of noted Staunton architects T.J. Collins and Son, is the site of the free-of-charge “Heifetz At The Temple House” performances every Monday at noon during the summertime run of the Institute. Through this event, both organizations have joined forces in order to keep the summertime performances free and open to all.
These Heifetz On Tour performances come at a moment that Founder and Artistic Director Daniel Heifetz declares as “one of the most exciting – and agonizing – times of the year,” as this week acceptance notices are going out to successful applicants for the 20th Anniversary summer program. Mr. Heifetz adds, “It’s thrilling to see the superb artistry of these young performers from all over the world who want only to come to Staunton and study at the Heifetz Institute this summer.”
“But the agony is also very real, for we also know that we will lose some of the most accomplished players to other programs with robust endowments and/or completely tuition-free programs. The dollars we raise during these Heifetz On Tour programs are vital to our ability to ‘level the playing field’ through our Shenandoah Scholarship Campaign.”
The Institute’s 2016 Shenandoah Scholarship Campaign is a matching grant initiative to raise $200,000 in scholarship funds to bring students to Staunton, VA for the Institute’s 20th anniversary summer program. The Heifetz Institute Board of Directors has agreed to provide an additional $100,000 in scholarship funds if that figure could be matched by local donations. As of February 29th, the Institute has raised $73,525 towards this $100,000 goal.
The March Heifetz On Tour concert and event schedule is as follows:
Friday, March 18, 7:00 pm: Private Concert, Chevy Chase, MD
About the Artists
A recipient of “Outstanding Musician” awards from the Arts Critic Association and the Gangwon Talent Support Foundation in Korea, violinist Yezu (Elizabeth) Woo attended the Heifetz Institute in 2014, and returned in 2015 to join the inaugural program of the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar. At her 2004 debut at Carnegie Hall, Yezu became the youngest performer ever to play all 24 of Niccolo Paganini’s notoriously difficulty Caprices for solo violin. Ms. Woo also enjoys collaborations with artists in other genres, including Korean traditional music and hip-hop. She is the Artistic Director of Shattered Glass, a conductor-less string ensemble based in NYC, as well as the New York in Chuncheon Music Festival in her Korean hometown of Chuncheon, Ms. Woo received her B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Albert Markov, and her M.M. at The Juilliard School after studies with Catherine Cho.
16-year old violist Emma Wernig attended the Heifetz Institute for the first time during the summer of 2015 from her native Los Angeles, California, where she studies with Helen Callus at the Colburn Music Academy. She was also a member of the Incendium Quartet, awarded the Gold Medal at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, subsequently featured on NPR’s From The Top, a frequent destination of Heifetz students and alumni. She has enjoyed master classes and lessons from Paul Coletti, Roberto Diaz, Martin Beaver, and Heifetz Institute faculty members Heidi Castleman, Robert Vernon, Ilya Kaler, and many others. In the summer of 2014 she studied with violist Tim Frederiksen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.
Cellist Coleman Itzkoff currently studies with Heifetz faculty member Ralph Kirshbaum, co-director of the Institute’s new Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar. Coleman is also a former Artist-in-Residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today with host Fred Child, recording interviews and a full recital program. Coleman has collaborated with Midori, Cho-Liang Lin, Daniel Heifetz, and Jon Kimura Parker. In addition to the Heifetz Institute, Coleman has attended the Aspen Music Festival, the Bowdoin Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and, most recently, La Jolla SummerFest.
Heifetz Institute faculty pianist Anton Smirnoff is the head of the piano department at the Pascale Music Institute in California. He began his piano studies at age of seven in Novosibirsk, Russia. After graduating from Novosibirsk State Conservatory with a Bachelor’s Degree, Anton came to the United States in 2006 to further his education, graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory with an Artist Diploma in 2010, and then a Professional Studies Certificate at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA. As a student, he was honored by the Russian government with several special talent scholarships. He has made more than 1,000 public performances worldwide at venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anton has participated in many international music festivals and competitions, as well as the Heifetz on Tour series, touring with the finest young string players in the country. Mr. Smirnoff received his M.M. Degree from Yale University in 2015.