John Heffernan is an innovative violinist, activist, and educator who strives to redefine classical music in the 21st Century. At the age of fifteen, he made his orchestral debut with the Beach Cities Symphony after being named winner of the Young Artist of the Future Competition. Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, California, John Heffernan received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil. After graduating from CIM, John moved to Chicago to study with the renowned pedagogue, Almita Vamos, at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.
While pursuing his master’s degree in violin performance, John was a founding member and second violinist of the Yas Quartet. The diverse and inclusive string quartet had the opportunity to travel to China twice and won third prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2016. After graduating with his Master of Music Degree in May of 2018, John is thrilled to start a new chapter in his musical career as a Fellow with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Throughout his studies he has played in master classes for Donald Weilerstein, Jaime Loredo, Roger Tapping, Peter Salaff, and the Cavani Quartet. John has attended the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Orford Music Academy, the Chautauqua Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, the Cambridge International String Academy, the Interlochen Arts Summer Music Festival, the Idyllwild Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Festival.