Daniel Heifetz to Retire As Heifetz Institute Artistic Director in 2019

January 5, 2018, 9:50 AM · Violinist Daniel Heifetz announced Thursday that he will step aside as full-time Artistic Director of the Heifetz International Music Institute, the Staunton, Va.-based summer training program that he founded in 1996.

Heifetz will become Artistic Director Emeritus after the 2019 Summer Institute. The Institute's Board of Directors has formed a committee to conduct a search for his successor, who will take the reins in August 2019.

Daniel Heifetz
Violinist Daniel Heifetz, Founder and Artistic Director of the Heifetz International Music Institute.

"For 22 years, I have given my heart and soul to envision, create, lead, and protect the Heifetz International Music Institute," Heifetz said in a statement. "In my belief that the vision and mission of the Institute were too important to revolve around a solo founding artist, I removed myself, many years ago, from all formal teaching and from performing in the public concerts at the summer Institute. I was convinced even then that this program must continue beyond me and move forward to inspire future generations of artists and audiences."

Heifetz started playing the violin at age five and went on to study with both Efrem Zimbalist and Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute. He established a name for himself as a performer - all while fighting comparisons with the famous Jascha Heifetz. After many years as touring soloist, he discovered a congenital nerve defect that curtailed his performing.

His inspiration for the Heifetz Institute came from a strong recognition that charisma was a huge factor in being a successful performing musician -- and more importantly, that it was something that could be taught. To that end, he devised the Heifetz Performance & Communication Training method, which emphasizes skills such as speaking publicly, maintaining wellness and health and cultivating effective personal expression.

Daniel Heifetz coaching
Heifetz Institute Founder Daniel Heifetz coaches a quartet. Photo by Violinist.com.

The Heifetz Institute began in 1996 with 20 young violinists who met with Heifetz for a two-week training program in Howard County, Maryland. Heifetz moved the Institute to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, and then in 2012 to its current home on the campus of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Va. The Heifetz Institute has served more than 2,000 students over its 22 years. At its heart is its six-week intensive Summer Program for advanced string students, ages 13-27. More recently it started HeifetzPEG, two three-week programs per summer for younger performers, ages 9-13. Heifetz Institute alumni also can participate in Heifetz On Tour an outreach program of concerts and residencies around the country.

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