In early 1998 current artistic director Carsten Schmidt organized two chamber music concerts, pulling together several friends to make a weekend of music in Staunton, Virginia. From that modest beginning springs the Staunton Music Festival, recognized today as one of the region’s most innovative and accomplished chamber music organizations. That growth and longevity has been made possible by a committed, supportive local audience, who helped sustain SMF over the past 20 years. Isolated concerts developed into a six-event summer concert series. That model was further enhanced with support from the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, which made it possible for SMF to offer daily free noontime concerts beginning in 2009.  In August 2020 SMF will present 29 concerts and 9 free concert talks in 10 days.  




Staunton Music Festival’s mission is to offer exceptional chamber music performed by international caliber musicians at historic venues throughout Staunton in a way that is accessible to all. Concert programs are innovative and seek a balance between old and new music. SMF musicians include local, national, and international artists, many of whom are acclaimed for their knowledge of historical performance traditions. We believe in the power of live classical music to transform the region and all of its residents.




Carsten Schmidt     Artistic Director
Jason Stell     Executive Director
Lou Dolive    Production Director

Board of Directors
Christine Capito Burch         President
Larry Harrell        Vice-President
Carol Shapiro        Treasurer
Anne Sills        Secretary

Dreama Anderson
Steve Berneking
Rick Chittum 
Terry Grant
Elizabeth Hartman
Dave Perry-Miller
Lori Piitz
Tamara Ridenour
Stewart Searle
Wilson Vellines, Jr