Staunton Music Festival opens 17th season

staunton2editsMore than 60 top international musicians arrive in Staunton early this week for rehearsals prior to Staunton Music Festival’s 17th season. The festivities begin with a lavish gala dinner, ball, and concerts. Nineteen more concerts follow through August 24.

Sundays feature special music for services at Trinity Episcopal Church, all free of charge. On Sunday, August 17 at 3 pm the whole family can enjoy a free performance of the famed musical tale Peter and the Wolf at Central United Methodist Church. Each weekday features a totally free concert, usually at noon, at venues throughout Staunton. Evenings offer ticketed concerts, also at Trinity.

Performing artists are top players from internationally famed chamber orchestras and small performing groups ranging from soloists to a dozen or so. Their music is designed for small venues, rather than the huge halls favored by larger orchestras. Ensembles feature just one or two players per part, and fans listen for the conversation-like interplay between instruments.

A special feature of the Staunton Music Festival is that music of earlier times is played on instruments favored in those times, or replicas of them. Although many modern instruments resemble their predecessors, earlier instruments usually offer softer and more subtle sounds.

Support for the free concerts comes from Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, a long-time festival backer, and from UnionFirst Bank.

For a complete schedule and ticket information see local newspapers or go to StauntonMusicFestival.org.

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