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Welcome to Staunton Music Festival's online pressroom. Our PR team is available to assist media with story ideas, help arrange press visits, media passes, and arrange interviews with SMF artists and/or local tourism industry partners. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact our PR team.

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Virginia Tourism Corporation recently announced a series of grant awards to support marketing and production expenses incurred by Virginia's festivals. Staunton Music Festival was selected to receive full project funding ($10,000) to support its annual summer festival, held August 11-20, 2023. In addition, SMF and Heifetz International Music Institute partnered in a successful marketing grant request, positioning Staunton as a classical music hub for the entire summer season.


  • Established in 1998, SMF is an immersive live classical music event.

  • The festival runs ten days and nights, typically presenting 30+ performances.

  • Concerts span 600 years of music, representing all classical musical styles and genres from solo to large ensemble.

  • 90+ world-renowned musical artists travel to Virginia to participate (including members of New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, and more).

  • Musicians are acclaimed for their knowledge of historical performance traditions (SMF annually presents Baroque, Renaissance, and Medieval programs entirely on period instruments).

  • The program also showcases new works from an international selection of composers-in-residence each season including the U.S. and commissioned world premieres.

  • SMF's performance collection of historic keyboards is one of the largest on the East Coast.

  • Pre-concert talks by noted scholars and performers are held before every ticketed performance.

  • All venues are intimate in scale (the largest venue holds 600 people) and are chosen for their historic charm and acoustic excellence.

  • Festival attendees come from 25+ states and foreign countries.

  • SMF is a community-based celebration of classical music, and 100% of visiting musicians are hosted in private homes.

  • Media coverage includes Washington Post, Virginia Living, Travel+Leisure, NPR, etc. SMF recordings are occasionally featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

  • All ages are welcome; ages 18 and under can attend nearly every SMF concert for free.

  • The Founder/Artistic Director is Carsten Schmidt; Executive Director is Jason Stell.


To access and download high-resolution images, visit our Image Gallery. All photos (c) by Leslie Kipp Photography.


To reprint program notes, or to request logo or audio files, please contact executive director Jason Stell:

(540) 569-0267

PO Box 3111

Staunton, VA 24402

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