In the repertoire for solo cello, there is nothing comparable to the six suites created by J.S. Bach. Regarded for generations as the pinnacle of the solo cellist’s art, these suites embrace the full spectrum from virtuosity to spiritual reflection. Acclaimed cellist James Wilson, a regular guest at Staunton Music Festival, performs Bach’s Suites in d, C, and E-flat on a Baroque cello in the intimate setting of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Bach Cello Suite in D Minor
Bach Cello Suite in C Major
Bach Cello Suite in E-flat Major
Get in the mood for 10 days of exceptional music with a party at Hunt Hall atop the beautiful Mary Baldwin University campus. After an invitation-only dinner for musicians, host families and volunteers, the public is invited to attend the party from 8:00 onward, with light food, drinks, and a variety of entertaining acts. Happenstance Theater and SMF musicians show off their lighter side. . .
Part One: 6:00 – 8:00 pm by invitation only – dinner, drinks, dessert
(this portion of the evening is a private event for musicians, SMF staff and board, host families, volunteers, and concert underwriters)
Part Two: 8:00 – 10:00 pm open to public – $30/person, includes drinks, light food, music
The 2017 Festival opens its evening concert series with a celebration of George Frederick Handel. Far beyond Messiah, Handel wrote a thousand fabulous scores, ranging from keyboard and chamber works to operas and orchestral suites.
Water Music, Suite in D and G
Coronation Anthem: Let thy hand be strengthened
“Angels, ever bright and fair,” from Theodora
“Va tacito,” from Giulio Cesare
Selections from Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day
Happenstance Theater’s BrouHaHa is an existential escapade in which six eccentric characters walk the precipice at the end of the world. Their play lights up the darkness like a firecracker. Performance takes place in the barn at Cobble Hill Farm just outside of town.
Based in Washington D.C., Happenstance Theater is a professional company committed to devising, producing and touring original, performer-created visual, poetic theatre. Its six member ensemble is made up of multi-talented performers who craft all aspects of a work from concept to realization.
The Washington Post describes Happenstance’s work as “visually striking and whimsical without being precious.”
Music takes us to many times and many places. Join SMF on a journey through diverse landscapes, from discoveries of a new world to deeply-felt evocations of one’s own surroundings.
Rameau Suite from Les Indes Galantes, for orchestra
Eggert Croaton III, for string quartet and bass drum (US premiere)
Brahms Alto Rhapsodie, for contralto and orchestra
Ravel Une Barque sur l’Ocean, for piano
Monteverdi Zefiro Torna, for two tenors, violin, and continuo
Saariaho Three Japanese Gardens, for percussion and live electronics
Smetana The Moldau, for orchestra
Admission limited to 35 people. Ticket includes complimentary drinks. Event will begin approximately 20 minutes after the Journeys and Landscapes concert concludes. Black Swan Books is located about four short blocks (5 min walk) from Trinity Episcopal Church.
The commedia dell’arte tradition extends back centuries, but the comic characters developed there continue to delight audiences today. This program features comedic masterpieces from Mozart to Milhaud. Plus Happenstance Theater will be on stage to present an original creation.
Mozart Overture to La Nozze di Figaro
Wadsworth The Doctor (world premiere)
Bach “Coffee” Cantata
Happenstance Theater (original piece)
Kurtz Last Contrabass in Las Vegas
Milhaud Scaramouche, for clarinet and orchestra
Southern California became an adoptive home to many of the world’s most acclaimed composers before and during the Second World War. Alongside Hollywood songwriters, these refugees sparked a new chapter in the creation of American music.
Copland Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass and percussion
Eisler Hollywood Elegies, for voice and piano
Stravinsky Polka: For a Young Elephant
Chaplin Music from City Lights (arr. by Wadsworth and with dramatization by Happenstance Theater)
Rachmaninoff selection from Suite No. 2, for two pianos
Schoenberg Ode to Napoleon, for reciter and piano quintet
Arlen “If I Only had a Brain,” for voice and piano
Bernstein Overture to Candide, for orchestra
A celebration of great keyboards from the past 300 years, with performances on multiple harpsichords, fortepianos, and organs. Program includes works from Merula to the 20th century, and includes the beloved “Trout” Quintet as well as David Schrader’s improvisation on a suggested theme.
Mozart Concert Aria “Ch’io scordi di te” for soprano, fortepiano, and orchestra
TerVeldthuis The Storm, for harpsichord and tape
Merula Toccata for organ
Couperin Works for one to three harpsichords
Schrader Organ Improvisation on a theme by the audience
Schubert Piano Quintet in A (“Trout”)
With the Festival in full swing, catch your breath (and a quick drink) at this Nightcap upstairs at Ox-Eye Vineyard’s tasting room. Enjoy 16th-century songs for voice and lute in the lovingly restored building at the wharf area in downtown Staunton.
Admission limited to 50 people. Ticket includes complimentary drinks. Event will begin approximately 20 minutes after the Early Keyboard Extravaganza concert concludes. Ox-Eye Tasting Room is located about four short blocks (5 min walk) from Trinity Episcopal Church.
Germany has produced generations of fabulous composers. After the dominance of Italy in the Renaissance, German music stepped into the spotlight with the emergence of the Classical style in the late 18th century. Composer-in-residence Moritz Eggert demonstrates the continuing strength of this venerable tradition.
Haydn Variations on “Gott erhalte” from String Quartet Op. 76 No. 3
Eggert One Man Band II, for pianist
Vogelweide Unter der Linden, for voice and instruments
Wagner Prelude from Die Meistersinger, arr. for two pianos, eight hands
Weill Selections from Three Penny Opera
Schütz Meine Seele verlanget, for double chorus
Beethoven Symphony No. 8
Classical music often struggles to cast off its sober image. And yet many composers have sought to infuse their music with wit, humor, and outright comedy. This intriguing program brings together some of the most memorable such attempts, from Haydn’s famous “Surprise” Symphony to Stravinsky’s neo-classical Pulcinella Suite, complete with pantomime by Happenstance Theater.
Haydn Symphony No. 94 in G (“Surprise”)
Guinivan New Work (world premiere)
R.Strauss/Hasenoehrl Till Eulenspiegel, einmal anders, for violin, clarinet, horn, bassoon, double bass
Stravinsky Pulcinella Suite, for orchestra with pantomime
Presenting several of the signature orchestral and choral masterworks by J. S. Bach, including the Magnificat in D, Orchestral Suite No. 3, the double concerto for oboe and violin, and select arias and duets. Plus madrigal singers during intermission.
Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3
Bach Arias and Duets TBA
Bach Concerto in C Minor, for oboe, violin, strings and continuo
Bach Magnificat in D, for soloists, chorus, and orchestra
The third and final Nightcap event features harpist Sivan Magen in the comfortable setting of Black Swan Books. Pull up a chair, get a glass of wine, and let Sivan’s artistry take you out of the everyday world–for just about an hour…
Admission limited to 35 people. Ticket includes complimentary drinks. Event will begin approximately 20 minutes after the Baroque Inside/Out concert concludes. Black Swan Books is located about four short blocks (5 min walk) from Trinity Episcopal Church.
Classical music has been largely dominated by composers from the Old World. But New World music has slowly garnered a position of some acclaim, ranging from works steeped in Native- and African-American roots, to the most advanced electronic music. And Old World visitors have left their marks during brief sojourns in our “Brave New World.”
Latin American Baroque Suite
Varèse Offrandes, for soprano and chamber ens.
Dvorák Larghetto, from String Quintet (“American”)
Joplin Maple Leaf Rag, for piano
Burtner New piece for harp and live electronics (world premiere)
Bartók Contrasts, for clarinet, violin, and piano
Crumb “The Kanawha River at Dusk” and “Black is my Love” from American Songbook
Gershwin Variations on “I Got Rhythm,” for piano and orchestra
This intriguing 50-minute concert at Blackfriars Playhouse celebrates two “forces of nature”: Beethoven and the total solar eclipse occurring over the U.S. on August 21, 2017. Composer-in-residence Zachary Wadsworth presents the world premiere of a work for harp and chamber ensemble commissioned by SMF. It is followed by Beethoven’s brilliant String Quintet in C, nicknamed “Storm” for the explosive character of the work’s final movement.
Wadsworth Eclipse, for harp and chamber ensemble (world premiere)
Beethoven String Quintet in C, Op. 29 (“Storm”)
In preparation for the SMF’s performance of Beethoven’s commanding Ninth Symphony, we invite you to take literal and intellectual nourishment before the concert. Enjoy a catered brunch followed by an engaging and informative 50-minute talk on Beethoven’s final symphony with Richard Will, professor of music history at the University of Virginia. Dr. Will is an expert on classical-era symphonic music and an award winning teacher. Event is limited to 70 guests.
Musical works don’t come any bigger than Beethoven’s commanding Ninth Symphony for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra. The SMF concludes its 20th anniversary season with Beethoven’s last completed symphony, a work that transformed music, rewrote accepted norms of symphonic music, and carried poet Friedrich Schiller’s message of “Ode to Joy” to all future generations. SMF artistic director Carsten Schmidt conducts the SMF Chamber Orchestra, a brilliant period instrument ensemble, along with featured vocal soloists and chamber chorus.
(To learn more about this work, don’t miss the extended preconcert lecture over brunch; tickets required.)
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Robert Schumann had ambitions to become the Paganini of the piano, but a crippling hand injury forced him to channel his artistic ambitions into criticism and composition. His loss, our gain. The power and poetry of his voice forever altered the landscape of European music. Enjoy this spectacular all-Schumann program performed on period instruments by special guest artists from across the U.S. and Canada.
Kinderszenen for solo piano, Op. 15
Dichterliebe for voice and piano, Op. 48
Piano Quintet in E flat, Op. 44
Jonathan Woody baritone
Aisslinn Nosky violin
Guillaume Pirard violin
Max Mandel viola
James Wilson cello
Carsten Schmidt fortepiano