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Bach at Heifetz

Intensive study and performance of Bach’s music has always occupied a central role in the lives of our Heifetz students. Explore the various programs, performances, and series that serve to explore these timeless works.

Chock Full o’ Bach

The ritual of beginning the day with Bach is a universal and sacred tradition among musicians. Stravinsky’s daily custom was to play one of the preludes and fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier every morning to spark his creativity, while Robert Schumann advised that those same compositions “…should be your daily bread.” Perhaps most famously, the renowned cellist Pablo Casals returned to the Cello Suites as his morning habit – his widow Marta recounted that, “Monday he played No.1, Tuesday, No.2, and so on. Saturday and Sunday he played No.6, which was the most difficult….He did this every day of his life until he died.” As part of the myriad performance opportunities we provide for our Heifetz family, starting in 2020 have been sharing weekly (and daily during the summer) performances from our students, alumni, and faculty.

Well-Tempered Tuesdays

Performances by the Borromeo String Quartet, Ensemble in Residence at the Heifetz International Music Institute, of brand-new arrangements for string quartet of Book II of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. The arrangements are by Borromeo founder and Heifetz Institute Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen.

Bach Around the Clock

Our annual marathon celebration of J.S. Bach’s birthday features performances by alumni, faculty, and special guests, including The Heifetz Institute Ensemble In Residence, The Borromeo String Quartet, Staunton Music Festival, Three Notch’d Road – The Virginia Baroque Ensemble, Garth Newel Music Festival, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, Florence Jowers (organ), Peter Blanchette (archguitar).

“To me, it feels as if I’m coming back home whenever I play Bach. It feels so naturally written and genuine. There are hidden elements in Bach; for musicians it is very knowledgeable music, but what comes out of it is more of a spontaneity of expression. You can listen to Bach from many points of view: you can admire the science of it, the incredible intelligence of it, but even if you don’t have any musical training or knowledge, you can still enjoy it for the incredible spontaneous life of the melody.” – Conductor Emmanuelle Haim

Bach from the Heifetz Stage

Faculty, student, and Artist in Residence performances of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach captured in concert at the Heifetz International Music Institute over the years.