We received a reservation recently from an amazing guest who stayed with us last year and reminded us of a very special time here in Staunton. This guest has a very talented daughter who he’s bringing to town to be a part of an annual season of beautiful music.
We get so excited in July and August because Staunton is filled with the most wonderful classical music; most of it performed right across the street from Berkeley House Bed & Breakfast at Mary Baldwin’s Francis Auditorium. And we get concerts every day for six wonderful weeks!
The Heifetz International Music Institute brings in 80 plus extremely talented young musicians from all over the world – string players 13 to 30 years of age – who are already the best of the best, and teaches them how to become performers. The students arrive this year on June 30th and will perform their first concert on July 2nd. Some will have barely been able to get over jet lag by the 2nd. And they continue to perform for us until they leave on August 11th. Let me tell you that it’s a real bummer to see them leave because they’ve given it all for their audiences at every performance. For us it’s like getting endorphins. When you lose them, you’ve lost that “drug”.
The talent we get to see from day one is incredible. But the transformation of these students over the six weeks they are with the Institute is truly amazing. I guess we’re lucky we live in Staunton and walk to many of the concerts whilst still running our B&B. But we can truly say that our guests who come during Heifetz time will have an awesome experience, even if they’re only able to see one or two concerts while they are in Staunton.
The Heifetz experience is summed up in the Institute’s Mission Statement: “The Institute is based on the revolutionary educational concept that young musicians can be taught to communicate the emotion of music, beyond mere technical agility and beautiful playing.” Through the program, the Heifetz International Music Institute is redefining the concert experience. For those of us who love classical music and even those who have little exposure to classical music, the concert experience that these young musicians give to us is entertaining beyond measure.
For the students, training at the Heifetz Institute is highly sought after. Some of the world’s top professional musicians and performing artists come to Staunton to give them weekly private lessons, chamber music coaching, performance and communication training, over 5 concert performance opportunities per week (including the opportunity to perform with the faculty), potential performances with local blues and jazz musicians, and much, much more.
Last year Heifetz added the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar to the mix and it was absolutely spectacular. We’re happy to hear that it’s going to happen again this year. Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi (Curtis Institute of Music), and cellist Ralph Kirshbaum (University of Southern California) return to Staunton to instruct 16 extremely talented artists with 3 weekly coaching sessions so we can enjoy their magnificent performances.
So join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Heifetz International Music Institute. Fill your senses with beautiful music and youthful energy. Come stay with us in our award winning bed and breakfast. Enjoy luxury living of the Victorian era and truly yummy breakfasts. We look forward to seeing you soon!