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Castleton Festival facts for kids

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Castleton Festival grounds - sign
Castleton Festival entrance sign

The Castleton Festival, launched in the summer of 2009, has quickly become the centerpiece program of The Chateauville Foundation, established in 1997 by Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban-Maazel. The Foundation's mission is to nurture young artists, foster collaborative artistic enterprise and create opportunities within the community for shared cultural experience. The Castleton Festival is located on Lorin Maazel's estate in Castleton, Virginia.


Castleton Festival Theatre on an overcast day
Tent-theater at the Castleton Festival

An intimate and acoustically superb Theatre House, sitting on the foundations of what was once a large-scale chicken coop, serves as the focal point of the Foundation's year round activities. Its stage has welcomed world-renowned artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, José Carreras, Emanuel Ax, and Itzhak Perlman, alongside rising classical music stars, and figures from world music, jazz, dance and theatre. The Foundation continues to present artists and ensembles of the highest caliber through a regular season of a dozen or more presentation each year.

In addition to its performance activities, the Foundation regularly welcomes students to its facilities and offers outreach opportunities and in-school activities within Rappahannock County. The Foundation is deeply rooted in the world of its community and has partnered regularly with area organizations to integrate the performing arts into the lives of under-served populations.

In recent years, the Foundation's work has focused most prominently on the growth of young artists; advanced students and emerging professionals on the cusp of major careers. Starting with the Castleton Residency, a program launched in 2006, such artists have come annually to Castleton Farms to live and work together intensively under the inspiring guidance of Maestro Maazel, producing a series of chamber opera productions in the intimate Theatre House.

The enormously successful program blossomed into the first Castleton Festival in 2009, creating expanded opportunities for the participants through the inclusion of symphonic concerts, master classes (most notably the Lorin Maazel Master Class for conductors with Rolex as the Founding Partner), recitals and a range of formal and informal performances and training activities.

The Castleton Festival’s 2015 season was supported by private contributions and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

A virtual festival was held in 2020.

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