Daniel Heifetz prefers to play second fiddle to his students' first violin.
Heifetz, a University of Maryland music professor, is the founder and director of the Heifetz International Music Institute, a summer camp for advanced young musicians soon to begin its third season in Howard County. He also is a concert violinist and distant cousin of legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz.
Twenty-six students, from as far as Korea and Taiwan, will attend the institute June 29 to Aug. 10. After using facilities at Howard Community College last summer, the institute this year returns to Glenelg Country School on Folly Quarter Road in western Howard County.
The private school is building a performing arts center, and one of its co-founders, Washington parking-lot magnate Kingdon Gould Jr., wants the institute to make its permanent home there.
"I'm hoping that this can become an international center for working with talented young people, teaching them how to communicate with an audience," Heifetz said.
At his Overlook Farm in North Laurel on Sunday, Gould sponsored a benefit concert for the school at which three of Heifetz's students -- Olivia Hajioff, Fidel Marchena and Emil Chudnovsky -- took turns performing Bach's Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins with their teacher.
The Heifetz Band, a five-member string ensemble, accompanied the violinists.
About 70 people attended the $100-a-ticket affair. Proceeds were destined for the institute's scholarship fund. Tuition for the summer program is $2,000.
In the living room of Gould's home, the concert was resonant: cascades of notes, silences, throaty sounds.
The instruments sounded fragile, almost human. Perhaps it was the nearness of the musicians; they were just feet from the front row, and there was no stage. Or perhaps it was that each part in the second piece on the program -- Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," in which Heifetz was the soloist -- was played by just one violin, viola or cello, instead of the usual complement found in an orchestra.
Bending and swaying with the music, teacher and students might have been dancers in an 18th-century engraving, their bodies as much a part of their performance as their hands. It was chamber music as the composers' patrons -- princes and churchmen -- might have heard it, and the effect was exhilarating.
If Heifetz and Gould have their way, such concerts will be performed regularly in Howard County.
Gould, a former ambassador to Luxembourg and the Netherlands, became a sponsor of Heifetz's institute "because of my friendship for Danny Heifetz, who is a world-class musician, and a very charming and outgoing young man," he said.
"I hope we keep him here in Howard County."
Heifetz's students will perform at Howard County Community College July 19 and Aug. 10. He plans to bring students and colleagues to Howard County for performances throughout the year.
His institute is a work in progress. Drama coaches and movement specialists are a part of Heifetz's vision for teaching young musicians to reach out and touch their audiences.
"So many different types of human experience go into bringing the charisma out of a student, out of an artist. It's a very difficult thing," Heifetz said. "It has to do with becoming the music. And no one really is putting together any organized plan of how to develop this in young artists."
Hajioff, 23, who is working toward a doctorate at the University of Maryland, where Heifetz is her instructor, feels no need for other teachers.
"He's so enthusiastic and energetic," she said. "You never feel like you're being judged [after a lesson]. Even when he's exhausted and so busy, you feel like you're the only person in the world for that hour."
Pub Date: 5/23/96