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Apply: Heifetz 2021 Summer Institute

"players wanted heifetz 2021 the 25th anniversary season"

The 2021 Summer Institute will take place from June 24 – August 7, 2021.

COVID-19 UPDATE: In conjunction with our hosts at Mary Baldwin University, which has very successfully conducted a “Back to Baldwin” in-seat semester, the Heifetz Institute is exploring every option for creating an on-campus experience for successful #Heifetz2021 applicants. Our current plans contemplate  a hybrid program for Summer 2021, featuring both in-person and virtual elements to meet the needs of our exceptional students. No matter the format, you can anticipate an immersive and transformative summer music experience in the hallmark Heifetz style, and its 25-year record of leadership and innovation in high-level musical instruction, Communication Training, and multimedia production.

The application portal will open in mid-November 2020, with program details, tuition, and scheduling to be announced. The application deadline will be February 15, 2021.

For details on the 2020 Virtual Institute, the largest and most comprehensive online summer music program on the planet,  click here.

About the Summer Program

Nicholas Kitchen teaching a heifetz student

“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 Heifetz Institute for young artists 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.”
– Nicholas Kitchen, Artistic Director

The intensive six-week summer program for gifted violin, viola, and cello students is held on the campus of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia – in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. In addition to the main program, the Institute also offers the prestigious (and tuition-free) Ashkenasi /Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar for emerging professionals (June 21 – August 7), and a two-week Double Bass Studio & Workshop, (July 22 – August 7).

For application information for our other programs, please see the following pages:

The Summer Program

The Institute’s 2021 summer program is open to outstanding string players who generally range in age between 14 and 30. It includes:
  • Two one-hour private lessons per week
  • One studio performance class per week
  • An enhanced and intensified chamber music component featuring up to three coachings per week
  • Our signature Heifetz Performance & Communication Training, including one-on-one coaching and goal-setting sessions
  • NEW for 2021: Weekly private instruction in multimedia recording technology
  • Myriad performance and recording opportunities, including:
  • In-person livestreamed Stars of Tomorrow and Stars of Tomorrow Chamber Music concerts in Staunton.
  • Online Stars of Tomorrow concerts via Rubato: The Heifetz Virtual Concert Hall
  • Daily Chock Full O’Bach performances  via Rubato, and also featured on Facebook Live
  • Friday night Celebrity Series concerts featuring Heifetz faculty and select students
  • Our renowned multi-genre Saturday night Heifetz Hootenannies.
  • Special events, including a live-broadcast Independence Day Concert at a Presidential estate
  • Private house concerts and outreach performances in area churches, libraries, day camps, and more (COVID-19 conditions permitting)
  • Special seminars, masterclasses, lectures, exhibitions and audition opportunities, including fine instrument dealers and From The Top auditions
  • HD audio and video productions for private use and on our industry-leading YouTube Channel, plus live-streams and nationwide broadcasts via The Violin Channel and Performance Today
  • Nationwide concert opportunities throughout the year for alumni through Heifetz On Tour
  • Residencies, partnerships, and audition opportunities with performing arts centers and major orchestras

And it all takes place in Staunton, Virginia, known for its historic, culturally vibrant downtown and stunning natural beauty. Sandwiched in the Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, Staunton regularly appears on lists of the nation’s best main streets and small cities in such publications as Smithsonian, Travel & Leisure, USA Today, and Architectural Digest.

two heifetz members perform in downtown staunton

Application Fees

The application fee is $135.00, not included in the tuition rate. The application deadline for the 2021 Heifetz Institute will be February 15, 2021. Applications received after that deadline will be considered only on a case-by-case basis.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Full and partial scholarships are available to qualified students. Every successful applicant to the Heifetz Institute is automatically eligible for merit scholarship awards. Students wishing to be considered for a great amount of financial aid 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.

If you have not attended the Heifetz Institute before, and are applying for need-based financial aid, you will be asked to provide the name and email of one reference. Once you finish and submit your application, our application host (GetAcceptd) will automatically send an email to your reference with instructions on how to submit their letter of recommendation. Note: If you are an alumnus/alumna of the Heifetz Institute, you are not required to submit any references. We also recommend that you investigate grant and scholarship opportunities within your community (schools, religious groups, arts or civic organizations, community foundations, and private donors) for alternate sources of financial aid.

Ages

The Heifetz Institute typically accepts students between the ages of 14 and 30. However, the Heifetz Institute does not discriminate on the basis of age, and students of all ages are welcome to apply. Younger students between the ages of 9 and 13 are encouraged to check out our HeifetzPEG program.

Audition Requirements for All Applicants

Applicants are required to submit recent videos to the Heifetz International Music Institute via the application portal on GetAcceptd (see below for the specific requirements for the program in which you are interested).
As for whether or not a piece is sufficiently “virtuosic,” we’ll be happy to answer your specific questions at [email protected]. But first keep in mind that we want to be impressed, so think about the pieces that will make the greatest impression on our selection committee! Need some advice or inspiration? Check out the excellent (and funny!) suggestions by Nathan Cole – How to make an audition video without spending a fortune.

  • Please be sure your audition videos are clearly titled (e.g. John Smith, violin – Bach: Violin Partita No. 2, III. Sarabande)
  • Audition videos must clearly display the hands and face of the applicant at all times during the performance, and be taken from one single-camera perspective.
  • No video or audio edits of the performance are permitted, and edited performances will not be accepted. Standard editing of applause and truncating and/or excerpting a single movement from longer pieces is acceptable.
  • Each audition submission must be uploaded separately and clearly labeled with the name of the applicant performer and of the piece.
  • Piano accompaniment: 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.
  • Videos may be posted on YouTube, or directly to the Heifetz Institute’s GetAcceptd platform. Please make sure that all links are working and do not require a password to access.
  • If you wish to upload a video from a live concert that was professionally recorded and does not meet the above conditions, or if you have any other questions, please contact us at [email protected].
  • If you have not attended the Heifetz Institute before, you will also be asked to upload a letter(s) of recommendation from your teacher(s).

Audition Guidelines for the Summer 2021 Heifetz Institute

Please upload three separate videos, clearly labeled, fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. A short piece clearly demonstrating technical accomplishment.
  2. A movement from one of the six Bach solo sonatas and partitas.
  3. A substantial movement of a concerto or sonata from the standard repertoire, demonstrating both artistry and virtuosity.

heifetz student plays the violin

Please upload three separate videos, clearly labeled, and chosen from the following:

  1. A short piece clearly demonstrating technical accomplishment.
  2. A movement from one of the six cello suites by J.S. Bach (transcriptions permitted).
  3. Choose a substantial movement from a sonata from the standard repertoire OR a representative substantial portion of a concerto. Examples include (but are not limited to):
  • First movement with cadenza of the D major concerti by Carl Stamitz or
  • Franz Anton Hoffmeister
  • First or second movement of the
  • William Walton viola concerto.
  • First or second and third movements of the Bela Bartok viola concerto.
  • Any movement of Paul Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher

heifetz student plays the viola

Please upload three separate videos, clearly labeled, fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. A short piece clearly demonstrating technical accomplishment.
    A movement from one of the six cello suites by J.S. Bach.
    A substantial movement of a concerto or sonata from the standard repertoire, demonstrating both artistry and virtuosity.

heifetz student plays the cello

(July 22 – August 7)

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. Students will receive two private lessons per week, a weekly studio-performance class, and be assigned to chamber ensembles with pre-assigned repertoire, and participate in all other Heifetz Institute activities, including Performance and Communication Training classes.

Please upload separate videos for each movement, clearly labeled, fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. A movement from one of the six cello suites by J.S. Bach (optional repeats)
  2. A movement of a standard concerto or sonata, demonstrating both artistry and virtuosity (accompaniment preferred)
  3. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts of your choice.

heifetz student plays the double bass

The Institute will accept 1-3 piano students to participate in the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar as part of a chamber ensemble. However, all members of the pre-formed group must submit separate, individual applications. Each member will need to indicate the name of the ensemble to which they belong.
Please upload separate videos for each movement, clearly labeled, fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. A Bach prelude and fugue or another original work by Bach (not a transcription)
  2. A sonata or variations by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert.
  3. A short piece from the Romantic to modern era clearly demonstrating technical accomplishment.

heifetz student plays the piano

(June 21 – August 7)
All applicants applying to the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar and who also wish to be considered for the Institute’s regular program will need to ensure that your uploaded videos meet the criteria for regular admission.

There are two application options:

Option A)
Individual (violin or cello): if you are applying as an individual, (e.g., not affiliated with a pre-existing ensemble), you will need to prepare and upload the following three videos:
1. A movement from a solo work by J.S. Bach (e.g., Sonatas and Partitas or Cello Suites).
2. A virtuosic piece clearly demonstrating technical accomplishment.
3. A substantial movement of a Sonata or Concerto from the Classical or Romantic era.

Individual (viola): if you are applying as an individual, (e.g., not affiliated with a pre-existing ensemble), you will need to prepare and upload the following three videos:
1. A movement from a solo work by J.S. Bach.
2. A virtuosic piece clearly demonstrating technical accomplishment.
3. Choose a major movement from a sonata from the standard repertoire OR a representative substantial portion of a concerto. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • First movement with cadenza of the D major concerti by Carl Stamitz or Franz Anton Hoffmeister
  • First or second movement of the William Walton viola concerto.
  • First or second and third movements of the Bela Bartok viola concerto.
  • Any movement of Paul Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher

Option B)
String Quartets and Piano Trios: The Chamber Music Seminar encourages pre-formed string quartets and piano trios, poised to launch professional careers, to apply as an intact ensemble. However, all members of the pre-formed group must submit separate, individual applications. Each member will need to indicate the name of the ensemble to which they belong.

All group applicants of a pre-existing ensemble will need to prepare and upload the following three videos:
1. Two contrasting movements from a Classical or Romantic era work.
2. One movement from a work written in the 20th or 21st Century.
3. One movement of choice from a work other than the works already included in your application.

If a member of your ensemble wishes to be considered for participation in our regular summer program, in the event that the group as a whole is not selected, you need to indicate that on your application. Again, to be considered for the regular summer program, you must ensure that your uploaded videos meet the criteria for regular admission.

Application Fees for the Chamber Music Seminar:
*No additional application fee will be required for individuals wishing to be considered for either the Chamber Music Seminar or the regular summer program.
*A full application fee will be required for any members of pre-existing ensembles (paying the reduced application fee of $65 per person) wishing to be considered for admission to the regular summer program as well.
If you have any other questions regarding your application to the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar, please email [email protected].