Andrew Green
Development and Marketing Manager

The Heifetz Institute Launches First Ever Virtual Institute on June 25
100 students and 40 faculty members from around the globe will log on for a revolutionary program while local partnerships will share their artistry with music lovers and our community's most vulnerable residents
STAUNTON, VA - The Heifetz International Music Institute, renowned for assembling a world-class group of young musicians and faculty members from across the globe each summer in the Shenandoah Valley, has taken the bold step to innovate a virtual institute for Summer 2020, the first such action taken by a premier music program nationwide. Beginning June 25, the mission is to create a meaningful and intense summertime musical learning experience in the digital realm that thrives on the Institute’s unique vision and values. 

"We intend to create an online experience for both our students and faculty that adheres as much as possible to the usual daily rhythms and routines of the summer Institute," notes Heifetz Institute President and CEO Benjamin K. Roe , including such Heifetz Institute staples as twice-weekly private lessons with major faculty, online studio classes with fellow students, weekly all-Institute Masterclasses, and online Communication Training classes with noted actors, directors, choreographers and other artists.
In addition to creating a new paradigm in online training, the Institute will continue to connect students with its community of music lovers, supporters, and patrons both locally and worldwide, through Heifetz Rubato: The Virtual Concert Hall . Daily presentations (48 in all) will include new performances by Heifetz 2020 Virtual Institute students along with highlights from recent Heifetz summers and never-before-seen archival footage from the Heifetz stage stretching back over two decades. These presentations will be broadcast as live streams through the Heifetz Institute's industry-leading YouTube and Facebook channels. The season kicked off with The Alumni Showcase & Preview Concert on June 1, and can be seen here.
Additional programming includes Chock Full o' Bach, daily broadcasts of J.S. Bach’s music at 9am each morning. These masterworks have always occupied a central role in the lives of Heifetz students, so as part of the myriad performance opportunities The Institute provides, new performances from students, alumni, and faculty will be posted daily every morning on their website, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. The YouTube playlist can be seen here.
On the local level, the Institute has partnered with local businesses and organizations to host Heifetz Watch Parties in and around the Staunton area to stay rooted in the community even while the summer experience will be entirely online. Confirmed venues include:

  • Staunton Augusta Art Center, who will host all six Alumni Showcase broadcasts (Wednesdays at 2pm on July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5; reservations can be at this link)
  • Barren Ridge Vineyards, who will host all five Heifetz Hootenannies (Saturdays at 7:30pm on July 4, 11, 18, 25, August 1)
  • More partners and dates to be announced
To continue the longstanding tradition of community service during the summer program, the Heifetz Institute will also be partnering with Augusta Health to offer one-on-one concerts via video livestream to their patient and resident populations who are isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heifetz students, faculty, alumni, and greater musical family will provide inspiration and a sense of community to those who in many cases have been isolated from human interaction for weeks or even months. Performers will have the opportunity to play for patients, as well as front line medical workers, and the program will launch on July 2 with a performance by Heifetz Institute Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen

Clint Merritt, MD, Augusta Health's Medical Director for population health, says, "We are very excited about collaborating with the Heifetz Institute to offer the healing gift of personal music performances for our patients. The emotional impacts of social distancing and COVID illnesses are much larger than we could have imagined. The Heifetz Institute is offering a wonderful community service at the perfect time."