Staunton, VA, September 10, 2018 – The Heifetz International Music Institute today announced the selection of solo violinist, chamber musician, teacher, video artist, technology innovator and arts administrator Nicholas Kitchen as its new Artistic Director.

Kitchen, a faculty member of the New England Conservatory, is also the first violinist of the Conservatory’s resident Borromeo String Quartet, an ensemble acclaimed for its “edge-of-the-seat performances” by the Boston Globe. The Borromeo Quartet, co-founded by Kitchen and his wife, cellist Yeesun Kim in 1989, is also the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Heifetz Institute, as well as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Taos School of Music in new Mexico.

Nicholas Kitchen will succeed Daniel Heifetz, who founded the Institute that bears his name in 1996. Mr. Heifetz will continue his association with the Institute as the organization’s Artistic Director Emeritus. Heifetz stated, “I am thrilled with the decision of the Heifetz Institute’s Board of Directors to name Nicholas Kitchen as my successor.

“Mr. Kitchen’s breadth of artistry is truly admirable. He is a brilliant concert soloist, professor, chamber musician and arranger, in addition to a creative intellect that is incredibly rare. For the past three summers, he and the Borromeo Quartet have been in residence at the Heifetz Institute as esteemed faculty members. Starting this past summer Starting this past summer 2018, the Borromeo Quartet officially became the Heifetz Institute’s Ensemble in Residence. Consequently, Mr. Kitchen has a first-hand working knowledge of the full vision, mission, and intricacies of the Institute and its program.”

Heifetz added, “My wife, Janne, and I have spent the past 23 years devoting our lives to the artistic and educational vision of the Institute: to teach young musicians to communicate the emotion of music, to become the music rather than simply playing the music. I have deep respect and confidence in Nicholas Kitchen and his dedication to the vision of the Institute. I know he will take the Institute to even greater heights as it strives to transform the musical lives of the world’s next generation of young musicians.”

1n accepting the position, Kitchen observed. “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 not just to learn their craft, but also to learn how to find and tap into their own musical passion and learn how to bring that passion to the stage. What could be more inspiring than hearing what this brings out in each of these brilliant young musicians! 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.”

“It is with a feeling of both professional accomplishment and personal joy to introduce Nick Kitchen as our new Artistic Director,” said Institute President Benjamin K. Roe. “Working in public media at NPR in Washington, DC, and at WGBH in Boston, and now here at the Heifetz Institute, I have had the pleasure of bearing witness to the artistic accomplishments of Nick and the Borromeo Quartet for more than 20 years, dating back to the time when the Quartet was the very first Ensemble-in-Residence on NPR’s Performance Today. Nick truly is one of the great innovators in our field and I’m excited to help to shape his vision for the Institute in the coming years.”

Roe added, “I also have to salute the dedicated and thorough work of our Search Committee. Over the course of ten months, these four members of our Heifetz Institute Board of Directors put long hours and diligent energy into the search process, made even more arduous by the remarkable, accomplished pool of candidates – a true sign of the stature of the Heifetz Institute in the music world.” The Artistic Director Search Committee was chaired by Heifetz Board member Robert Braun of Los Angeles, joined by Bruce Rosenblum of Potomac, MD, New York entertainment attorney Geoffrey Menin, and Dr. Joseph B. Orlick of Swoope, VA.

Kitchen, a native of Durham, NC, will officially assume the position on Oct. 1 of this year. Among his first orders of business will be to complete the planning for the Institute’s 2019 Heifetz On Tour activities and its Summer 2019 season, which will be both a celebration of Daniel Heifetz’s artistry and accomplishments in building the Institute, as well as a rollout of some new teaching and programming initiatives. The 2019 Heifetz Institute and its companion program will take place in Staunton, VA on the campus of Mary Baldwin University from June 23 – August 10, 2019.

Nicholas Kitchen’s musicianship has been hailed by the New York Times as “thrilling, vibrant and captivating.” He is one of the most active and innovative performers in the music world today, as a solo violinist, chamber musician, teacher, video artist, technology innovator and arts administrator. Born in Durham, North Carolina, Nicholas Kitchen grew up in a family of musicians. Nicholas studied with Giorgio Ciompi at Duke and began performing publicly as a very young child, performing multiple times as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, and becoming deeply involved in all aspects of the activities of his parents: performing, teaching, organ tuning and registration selection, as well as orchestra and choir preparation related to the orchestra of the Duke String School and the choir of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

At 16, Nicholas began studying at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Here he worked with Heifetz Institute faculty member David Cerone and coached with such musicians as Felix Galimir and Mieczslaw Horszowski, but very importantly he spent five years working intensively with the great violinist and conductor Szymon Goldberg, as well as being included in the conducting courses of Otto Werner Mueller.

Kitchen has recently been entrusted with a key role of continuing the tradition of Szymon Goldberg. Mr. Goldberg’s wife, pianist Miyoko Yamane Goldberg arranged that her husband’s Guarneri del Gesu, known as the “Baron Vita,” joined its famous twin, the “Kreisler” Guarneri, in the collection of the Library of Congress. Both instruments were made by Guarneri at the same time, from the same wood. The Baron Vita was given on the condition that Mr. Kitchen play and travel with the instrument during his career and that he and the Library of Congress carry the extraordinary artistic approach evident in Mr. Goldberg’s playing and teaching into the future. This is most directly in evidence in the Szymon Goldberg Seminar and Festival in Toyama, Japan, where Mr. Kitchen serves as leading faculty.

At the end of his studies at Curtis in 1989, Kitchen joined his schoolmates and founded the Borromeo String Quartet (Heifetz Institute Ensemble In Residence) that went on to study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Very quickly the quartet won prizes at the Evian International Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. Ever since these first successes, the quartet has been in great demand, regularly performing a hundred concerts each year. The Quartet also received the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America, the Martin S. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Nicholas has been extremely energetic in combining teaching activities with his concerts. His interest in reaching out with music resulted in his doing multiple tours under the auspices of the US Information Service visiting most of the countries in Latin America for performances and teaching residencies. Nicholas has taught at the New England Conservatory of Music since 1992, when at the end of their studies the Borromeo Quartet was asked to become Quartet-in-Residence.

The Heifetz International Music Institute is held on the campus of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Va., for six weeks each summer. The Institute is highly selective, as hundreds of the most brilliant and deserving young string players (violin, viola, and cello) from all over the globe apply to the Institute for only 80 openings. The Heifetz Institute is unique in the music world, with a stated mission to develop the expressive potential of every performer. Through the innovative and cross-disciplinary “Heifetz Performance & Communication Training,” the Institute teaches musicians to communicate the emotion of music, beyond mere technical agility and beautiful playing, to explore their creative potential, and to redefine the concert experience. As an experiential program, students then put their training in both areas on display via the Institute’s 50-plus “Festival of Concerts,” averaging one public concert per day from the end of June to the middle of August each summer, including such popular programs as its “Celebrity Series,” “Stars of Tomorrow,”and multi-genre “Heifetz Hootenannies.” The Institute’s Heifetz on Tour program consists of year-round concerts and residencies throughout the country, forming partnerships with cultural institutions in both major cities and rural areas.

*How do you make a name for yourself as a violinist, with a name that the world associates with another violinist? In the early days of his career, this was an obvious question for violinist Daniel Heifetz, now 67. Though he publicly claimed no relation to Jascha Heifetz (whom he knew to be a distant cousin), Daniel Heifetz found himself associated with and compared to the famous violinist at every turn. To learn more, click here.

(Press release from Dworkin & Company, PO Box 248, Bedford Hills, NY 10507.)