Andrew Green
Development and Marketing Manager

Pivoting on the Pandemic:
The Heifetz Institute announces all summer programming to be held online for 2020

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 made the difficult decision to not hold the physical Institute on the Mary Baldwin University campus in summer 2020 due to the global pandemic. However, the Institute has taken the bold step to innovate a virtual Heifetz Institute for Summer 2020, the first such action taken by a premier music program nationwide. The mission will be 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.

A major course of study planned for the 2020 Institute and accompanying Festival of Concerts was a summer-long seminar called "The Goldberg Explorations," led by Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen , set to study and perform from Ludwig van Beethoven’s original musical manuscripts in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the great composer's birth. The course, inspired by Mr. Kitchen’s Curtis Institute teacher, the legendary violinist and conductor Szymon Goldberg, will continue at the Virtual Heifetz Institute. Notes Mr. Kitchen: Personally, I have been feeling how in this year of Beethoven, he may be giving us some unexpected inspiration. In hindsight, his fortitude seems inevitable. But sometimes I try to imagine writing piece after piece, and not being able to hear a note of it. Obviously, he kept the fires of inspiration and aspiration burning brightly, and in a way, we're going to attempt to do the same: to bring people together to make music, and to overcome some daunting barriers to do so."

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 The Heifetz Digital Concert Hall . Planned offerings will include twice-weekly Virtual Stars of Tomorrow productions, a Video of the Week, a weekly Young Alumni Showcase , and Faculty Fridays , devoted to memorable performances by renowned teaching artists drawn from the Institute's 24-year history. These presentation will be featured through its industry-leading YouTube and Facebook channels. All webcasts will be available for free for seven days following the broadcast, at which point they will be available exclusively to Heifetz Digital Season Pass holders.

The Heifetz Virtual Institute will be held from June 25 - August 9, 2020.
More information is available at
To create a meaningful and intense summertime musical learning experience in the digital realm that thrives on the Institute’s unique vision and values.
Hear the news directly from Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen and President & CEO Benjamin Roe, and see the online collaborative process in action with Heifetz violinist Julia Schilz and pianist Beilin Han