Heifetz draws international string players Music: On the banks of the Severn, talented youngsters study, work and play to hone their performing skills.

July 23, 1998|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I attended a lovely tea Saturday afternoon at Manresa on the Severn, courtesy of the Heifetz International Music Institute.

Daniel Heifetz, a concert violinist and professor of music at the University of Maryland, has attracted an international roster of 38 young string players to Annapolis this summer to undergo a "total performer training" program designed to help turn talented youngsters into full-blown artists.

The teas at 3 p.m. Saturdays represent only part of the informal concertizing done by Heifetz participants over the course of their first summer in the state capital.

Thanks to these players, classical music has even made it to the popular 49 West nightclub Monday evenings, much to the enjoyment of Heifetz staff pianist Igal Kesselman.

"We've had a great time playing there," says Kesselman, a 30-year-old Israeli pianist based in New York who has spent the past month accompanying the program's fiddlers, violists and cellists.

Saturday, the students were attending a workshop on movement given at St. John's College by Hollywood star Patrick Swayze, so teatime was spent with the institute's faculty and staff.

The highlight was a blistering account of the opening movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Sonata, courtesy of Kesselman, who possesses fiery romantic sensibilities and the fingers to put them across.

Kesselman joined with violist Sel Kardan, the institute's associate director, for a pleasantly innocuous run-through of the Brahms F-minor Sonata. (The piece sounds better in its original clarinet version, anyway.)

He also accompanied his keyboard colleague, 19-year-old Daniel Schlossberg, in works of Bach, Franck and Massenet. For a pianist who only dabbles in violin as a hobby, Schlossberg plays a pretty decent fiddle.

Performances by players of the Heifetz institute draw to a close this weekend. The final tea at Manresa is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, and the closing gala concert featuring the best and brightest of Heifetz's crop will take place at St. John's McDowell Hall at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Information: 410-267-8096.

Pub Date: 7/23/98

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