INTO THE MUSIC
At Staunton Music Festival the music takes center stage; it is the "star." Each season Staunton Music Festival's artistic director, Carsten Schmidt, orchestrates an eclectic combination of programs, covering 600 years of exceptional music from the Middle Ages to commissioned premieres. We invite you to explore the music programmed in Staunton through our past performances, original program notes and essays, the Perspectives Video Series, and more.
For each season the Festival's artistic director orchestrates an eclectic combination of programs, covering 600 years of exceptional music from the Middle Ages to commissioned premieres.
Looking for specific works or composers? Review the complete list of planned repertoire, linked to the concerts in which those works will be played.
The Festival programs an eclectic mix of music that is both very old and very new. All music composed before 1850 is performed at Staunton on period instruments, including both authentic and replica keyboards, strings, winds, brass, and percussion. We believe that hearing music on instruments for which it was written only deepens the appreciation.
Each season Staunton Music Festival commissions original, world-premiere works from composers who spend a short residency at the Festival. New music adds a vital sense of excitement and creative ferment to every program. Composers-in-residence also take opportunities to speak publicly about their art, their influences, and the creative process.
For current and past Festival seasons, music historian and SMF executive director Jason Stell creates detailed, thoughtful program notes to accompany each performance. In addition, Stell and other invited friends provide short pre-concert talks prior to each evening program. Learn more about the music planned for the current season.
In 2020 Staunton Music Festival developed "Perspectives", a series of short videos that will take you deeper inside the music we perform. Videos feature SMF performers, composers, and historians sharing their insights about the music, recollections about specific performances they have given at the festival, and the broader historical context in which music is created.