Daniel Heifetz is the Founder and Director of the Heifetz International Music Institute. In a career spanning over 30 years, Heifetz has dedicated himself to the art of communication through performance and education.
Daniel Heifetz was raised in Southern California, the son of Dr. Milton and Betsy Heifetz, and began violin studies at the age of six. At sixteen, Heifetz became a student of the legendary Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He was also coached by Jascha Brodsky and, upon Zimbalist's retirement, concluded his studies with renowned pedagogue Ivan Galamian. He made his New York orchestral debut at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center in a performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra. Heifetz was also mentored at the beginning of his career by both the renowned Polish/Mexican violinist Henryk Szeryng who introduced him to Europe, and the great Russian violinist David Oistrakh. Oistrakh introduced him to the great impresario Sol Hurok who took Heifetz under management.
Mr. Heifetz was a prize-winner in both the Merriweather-Post Competition in Washington, D.C. and The International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. An artist who has always possessed a deep social commitment, he stunned the Tchaikovsky Competition officials and Soviet government when he met with Alexander Ginsburg’s wife and donated his prize money to the families of jailed dissidents Ginsburg and Scharansky. As a result of this humanitarian gesture, Richard L. Thornburgh, former United States Attorney General and Governor of Pennsylvania, held a state dinner in his honor.
As an educator, Mr. Heifetz has served as professor of violin at three major universities: The Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Maryland College Park. In addition to these positions, Mr. Heifetz has given master classes all over the world.
The Heifetz International Music Institute
In 1996, Mr. Heifetz founded the Heifetz International Music Institute for talented young musicians from around the world. A six-week summer program that takes place at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. The core of the Institute's program is the Heifetz Performance and Communication Training, a revolutionary and transformational educational concept that teaches young musicians to communicate the emotion of music, beyond mere technical agility and beautiful playing. In addition to the intensity of two private lessons each week, chamber music coaching, and five hours per day of practice time, the students take a series of one-hour classes each afternoon (one per day) in public speaking, voice, drama, movement, and freedom of expression. This innovative, comprehensive, and cross-disciplinary curriculum can enhance anyone's ability to become a more expressive and communicative person.