It’s True. We’re Rethinking Classical For The Modern Era


Staunton, Va. — Twenty years ago, the Staunton Music Festival started as a weekend of music among friends, but it has since become one of the mid-Atlantic’s most innovative, daring, and accomplished chamber music celebrations. Last year, the Washington Post marked it as a “Critic’s Pick.”

Wondering what to expect this year?  Look for traditional works such as Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, rarely-performed works from Hanns Eisler and John Cage, as well as contemporary pieces by visionaries such as Eugene Kurtz and composer-in-residence Moritz Eggert.  

The Festival officially kicks off tomorrow with a Handel Extravaganza, in which Handel’s Water Music Suites are featured among an all-baroque program that is entirely performed on period instruments.

If you choose to stay for the entire festival, you’ll be exposed to literally hundreds of musical pieces that span centuries – from the medieval era to avant-garde. 

With 30 concerts in just 10 days, SMF’s breadth of musical programming is unparalleled in the region.

Upping the ante for an unusual festival experience in this 20th season, expect some hijinks from the audaciously fringe Happenstance Theater, a professional company from Washington, DC that is devising theatrical and comedic productions in coordination with the composers and musicians.

Over 70 of the world’s finest professional chamber musicians are brought in for this intense 10-day festival, where musical risk-taking aboundsArtists are engaged for their expertise in historic performance traditions, their commitment to newer repertoires, their professional qualifications, and their ability to collaborate with new partners in a demanding time schedule. This year’s musicians hail from Germany, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Canada, and dozens of U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., and all points in between.

What:     A European-style classical music festival

When:    August 11-20, 2017

Where:   Downtown Staunton

Tickets:   Limited tickets may still be available at the door. Or visit the online box office to get started.