All Events

Welcome Party! @ Hunt Hall at Mary Baldwin University
Aug 10 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Fest Before the Festival

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

Northern Exposure @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This one-hour free concert features music by three Scandinavian masters, both familiar and unfamiliar.

Grieg    Three Songs, for voice and piano
Ritter    Suite in f sharp, for harpsichord
Kaipainen    Sonata for two violins
Grieg    Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, for orchestra

Handel Extravaganza: Water Music on a Summer’s Night @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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


Bohemian Inspirations @ First Presbyterian Church
Aug 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Explore the captivating music of the historic region of Bohemia, with music by Baroque master Heinrich Biber and 19th-century giant of Bohemian culture, Antonin Dvořák.

Biber    Sonata for two trumpets, strings, and continuo
Dvořák   Piano Quartet No. 2

Happenstance: BrouHaHa @ Cobble Hill Farm
Aug 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

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.”

Journeys and Landscapes @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

Nightcap: Cabaret! @ Black Swan Books & Music
Aug 12 @ 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm


After a full day at the Staunton Music Festival, unwind in the comfort of Black Swan Books and enjoy a glass of wine. Vocalists from the Festival perform a short set of cabaret songs.

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.

Sunday Morning Services @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 13 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Festival musicians provide music to accompany several area church services, including the 10:00 am eucharist service at Trinity Episcopal Church, 10:30 am service at Covenant Presbyterian, and the 11:00 am worship service at First Presbyterian. All are invited. Complete details available in August.

Peter and the Wolf @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 13 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

A family concert featuring Prokofiev’s beloved Peter and the Wolf for narrator, chamber orchestra, and dancers from Staunton Academy of Ballet.  Plus hear selections from the 2017 Musical Spark Contest and the stories and artwork created by students in response to the music.

To learn more about The Musical Spark, click here.

Commedia dell’Arte @ Blackfriars Playhouse
Aug 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

Iron Curtains @ First Presbyterian Church
Aug 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

It’s been more than 25 years since the end of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the rebirth of cultural connections between eastern and western Europe. And still we are discovering voices that refused to be silenced during eras of repression. This one hour concert features music by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Russian Dmitri Shostakovich, and the US premiere of Iron Curtain by composer in residence Moritz Eggert.

Pärt   Summa, for vocal ensemble
Eggert   Iron Curtain, for percussion quartet (US Premiere)
Shostakovich   String Quartet No. 8

Hollywood Songbook @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 14 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

Take Five @ First Presbyterian Church
Aug 15 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Five is great number for music. And in chamber music, composers have explored all diverse combination of instruments in making a quintet. This noon concert features Beethoven’s Quintet for piano and winds as well as Moritz Eggert’s quintet that takes inspiration from Mozart’s example, K. 452.

Beethoven   Quintet for piano and winds
D’India   Madrigals for five voices
Eggert   Amadee, Amadee, for piano and winds (US premiere)

Meet the Composer: Moritz Eggert @ Central United Methodist Church
Aug 15 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Moritz Eggert is one of the most acclaimed and recognized German composers of the contemporary age. Eggert discusses and performs excerpts from his diverse body of works, which explore the interplay between virtuosity and humor.

Early Keyboard Extravaganza @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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”)

Nightcap: Elizabethan Songbook @ Ox-Eye Tasting Room
Aug 15 @ 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm


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.

Mendelssohn’s Magic @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 16 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Composer Felix Mendelssohn remains one of the most popular figures for modern audiences. With his seemingly effortless ability to combine tempestuous allegros with tender melody, Mendelssohn captures the whole spectrum of musical poetry.

Mendelssohn   Two Songs for voice and piano
Mendelssohn   Organ Sonata in C Minor, Op. 65
Mendelssohn   Sextet in D for piano and strings, Op. 110

GerMania @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 16 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

La Bonne Chanson @ First Presbyterian Church
Aug 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Song is a basic thread within so many great compositions, even those not described overtly as songs. This one hour concert presents vocally inspired works by French, British, and American composers.

Poulenc   Sonata for piano four hands
Britten   Two Folksong Settings, for voice and harp
Biscardi   Traverso, for flute and piano
Fauré   La Bonne Chanson, for tenor, string quartet, and harp

Meet the Musicians: Harp and Lute @ Central United Methodist
Aug 17 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Get up close and personal with two stringed instruments that are not violins, violas, or cellos. Master musicians Sivan Magen (harp) and David Walker (lute and theorbo) discuss and demonstrate the beauties and quirks of their chosen instruments. All are invited to attend this fun and informal session, and meet two musicians who provide subtle color to ensemble situations–but still can step into the spotlight when that time comes.

Pranksters and Puppet Masters @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

Je ne sais quoi @ First Presbyterian Church
Aug 18 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

A one hour noon concert celebrating France and things influenced by France. German composers of the Baroque era, like Telemann, were strongly influenced by developments coming from France. And 200 years later native sons like Poulenc and Ravel were reinventing a national sound by looking to the past.

Telemann   Overture in A Minor for recorder, strings, and continuo
Poulenc   Madrigals for vocal quartet
Ravel   Introduction and Allegro, for harp, flute, clarinet, and string quartet

Baroque Inside Out:  Bach’s Magnificat and more @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

Nightcap: Harp After Dark @ Black Swan Books & Music
Aug 18 @ 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm


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.

Piano Extravaganza @ First Presbyterian Church
Aug 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Always an audience favorite, the Piano Extravaganza showcases works for one piano, from one to eight hands. As enjoyable to watch as it is to hear. Music by Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Scriabin and many others.

Scriabin   Nocturne, for left hand alone
Eggert   from Haemmerklavier
Haney   Three-Hand piece
Debussy   from Petite Suite, for four hands
Randall   It’s all right, for five hands
Rachmaninoff   Valse, Op. 11, for six hands
Liptak   Piano Roll Blues, for seven hands
Lavignac   Galop-March, for eight hands

Brave New World @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 19 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


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

Beethoven’s Storm (and an Eclipse!) @ Blackfriars Playhouse
Aug 20 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

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”)

Brunch and Lecture: Dive into Beethoven’s Ninth @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 20 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm


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.

Festival Finale: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 20 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

underwritten by Chris and Betsy Little


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