“The goal of the Heifetz International Music Institute program is to develop the expressive potential of every performer.” –Founder Daniel Heifetz
“A great performer may dazzle us with their technique, but it is when they open their heart that the stage really comes alive. Daniel Heifetz founded the Institute for young artists not just to learn their craft, but also to learn how to find and tap into their own musical passion and learn how to bring that passion to the stage. I am excited to add what I can to this marvelous history and I look forward to all the great music we will share together.”
– Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen
The Heifetz International Music Institute is an intensive six-week summer program for gifted violin, viola, cello, and piano students held on the campus of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia – in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Featuring world-renowned artist faculty, the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar, and the unique Heifetz Performance and Communication Training, the Institute has won world recognition as one of the premiere summer programs for young artists aspiring for a professional career.
Enrollment in the unique Heifetz Institute program opens up a world of professional opportunities, including:
- Full and partial scholarships
- World–renowned faculty (Click here to view our 2020 roster)
- The Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar *now tuition free*
- Heifetz Performance and Communication Training
- Nationwide Heifetz On Tour concert opportunities throughout the year for alumni
- Industry-Leading HD Audio & Video Recordings
- Residencies, partnerships, and audition opportunities with performing arts centers and major orchestras.
The Six-Week Summer Program
The Institute’s six-week summer program is open to outstanding young string players (violin, viola, cello – see information for double bass below) generally aged from 14 to 27, and offers:
- Two one-hour private lessons per week
- One studio performance class per week
- An enhanced and intensified chamber music component featuring up to two coachings per week
- Our signature Heifetz Performance & Communication Training, freshly enriched and improved
- Seven-day-a-week performance opportunities, (adding up for more than 50 per summer!) including:
- ⇒Stars of Tomorrow concerts in Francis Auditorium
- ⇒Chamber Music in the Blackfriars – Weekly concerts in the iconic home of the American Shakespeare Center, a re-creation of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan-era indoor playhouse
- ⇒Midweek Matinees: Intimate noontime concerts in the historic First Presbyterian Church
- ⇒Heifetz Sunday Matinee concerts in Staunton, Richmond, and Charlottesville, VA
- ⇒Friday night Celebrity Series concerts featuring Heifetz faculty and select students
- ⇒Our renowned Saturday night Heifetz Hootenannies. Check out this story!
- ⇒Five student-managed HeifetzLab concerts
- ⇒A live-broadcast Fourth of July Concert at a Presidential estate, and other special events
- ⇒Private house concerts, and outreach performances in area churches, libraries, day camps, and more.
- Special seminars, masterclasses, lectures, exhibitions and audition opportunities, including fine instrument dealers and From The Top auditions.
- Days of Play! Organized hikes, field trips, and outings for Heifetz students to explore the natural beauty and tourist attractions of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Heifetz Performance and Communication Training
The Heifetz Institute was created by Founder Daniel Heifetz upon the revolutionary educational concept that young musicians can be taught to communicate the emotion of music, beyond mere technical agility and beautiful playing. Thus, in addition to the intensity (and fun!) of the overall program, each Heifetz Institute student participates in a series of classes in the following areas, taught by veteran actors, dancers, opera singers, professional musicians, entertainment, exercise and healthcare professionals:
- Speaking in Public
- Yoga & Fitness
- Freedom of Expression
This innovative, comprehensive, and cross-disciplinary curriculum can enhance anyone’s ability to become a more expressive and communicative artist. Click here for more details about the 2020 program, and here for our 2020 Communication Faculty roster.
The Ashkenasi-Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar
The Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar is a seven-week program of intense and highly focused study of masterworks of the chamber music literature with two of the most renowned instructors in the world of music: Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi (Curtis Institute of Music), cellist Ralph Kirshbaum (USC Thornton School of Music), and Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen (New England Conservatory | Borromeo String Quartet). The Seminar is open to advanced violin, viola, and cello students interested in a summer of intense and highly focused study of the masterworks of the chamber music literature. Pre-formed string quartets and piano trios preparing for professional careers are encouraged to apply. For 2020 the Seminar will continue to be 100% tuition free for successful applicants.
For details on the program, click here.
Back in 2020! Heifetz Baroque Vocal Workshop
June 21 – July 12, 2020
The Baroque Vocal Workshop is a new initiative expressly for aspiring and emerging professional singers who wish to deepen their understanding of Baroque music and style, through the prism of the Heifetz Institute’s renowned instrumental teaching and unique Heifetz Performance and Communication Training method. The Heifetz Baroque program will be directed by David Stern, Music Director of the acclaimed Paris-based studio and company Opera Fuoco, Chief Conductor of the Palm Beach Opera, and director of the Shanghai Baroque Festival, with Principal vocal instruction from soprano Dominique Labelle, renowned for her interpretations and teaching of the works of Handel, Mozart, and Bach. Click here for more details on the program or visit www.heifetzbaroque.org
Back in 2020! Heifetz Double Bass Studio & Workshop
July 23 – August 9, 2020
For the first time, the Heifetz Institute will welcome double bass students to our summer campus, with an intensive two-week program led by Samuel Suggs, the first solo bassist in 36 years to join the Concert Artists Guild roster and professor at James Madison University. Click here to read more about the program.
Please take a moment to review carefully the audition repertoire requirements and the application instructions before beginning your application. Note: We do not require prospective students to audition with a collaborative pianist. That being said, the goal for your audition should be to achieve the most compelling and artistic performance possible. Most students find that performing an audition with a pianist brings them closer to that goal. The regular application deadline for the 2020 Heifetz Institute must be completed and received by Sunday, February 2, 2020. Applications received after that date will be considered only on an ad-hoc basis.
Tuition and fees:
Click here for the complete breakdown of tuition and fees, including tuition, housing, meals, student activities, copying and technology, and airport shuttle service between the Institute campus and either Dulles International, Charlottesville, or Shenandoah Valley airports. All the Heifetz dorm rooms at Mary Baldwin University are air-conditioned. We make every effort to provide students 18 and over with single, private rooms; students 17 and under will share double rooms in secure dorms with controlled access.
Scholarships & Financial Aid:
Full and partial scholarships are available. In 2019, almost 90% of our students received some measure of financial aid. Every successful applicant to the Heifetz Institute is automatically eligible for up to $2000 in merit scholarship awards.
Students wishing to be considered for a great amount of support will be required to fill out the Financial Aid portion of the application thoroughly and carefully. The Heifetz Institute application fee cannot be waived and is not subject to financial assistance.
Take as much time as you need to complete the application. Should you log out, all of your application material will be saved. You can then pick up from where you left off at any time.
Keep your credit card handy when you come to the end of the form. Once you complete your application, you will be asked to submit the $135 application fee via credit card. (If you apply before Dec. 31, 2019, the application fee will be $120.00.)
You must submit this application fee in order to be considered for admission for the 2020 program. After February 2, 2020 the application fee will be $145.00.
We thank you once again for your interest in the Heifetz International Music Institute. Should you have any questions about the application process, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (540) 907-4446, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you, and welcoming you to our beautiful campus in the Shenandoah Valley next year for a summer you will never forget!