The mission of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival is to bring the unique sound of Classical and Romantic chamber music on period instruments to audiences in Sonoma and beyond, and to expand the horizons of up-and-coming chamber musicians in our Apprenticeship Program.



Audiences are surprised and delighted by concerts and lectures highlighting the unique and intimate sound of music from Haydn to Schoenberg played on historical pianos and gut strings.

Compelling Programming

Each July in the town of Sonoma, an international roster of experts in period performance joins forces with emerging musicians to bring a familiar repertoire into a brilliant new light.

Mentorship FOR growth & discovery

The Apprenticeship Program is a two-week, full-scholarship educational program for emerging professional musicians.  It ensures that future generations will enjoy historically informed Classical and Romantic music.


Our festival was conceived and born in Sonoma, and Sonoma is at the center of our artistic efforts. Our relationship with a strongly supportive local community is enhanced and deepened by partnerships with local institutions, and with business and community leaders.



All music is performed on period instruments—or authentic reproductions—from the time the music was written. Mozart, Beethoven, CPE Bach, Haydn, and Brahms never heard their music played on a modern concert grand piano, or on string instruments with nylon or metal strings. Their pianos were woodier, and their violins and cellos had gut strings; the sound was more natural, delicate, and had a subtlety almost impossible to achieve on modern instruments.

Using period instruments allows the musicians and their audiences to hear pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries in a manner that is much closer to what the composers intended when they wrote their music. The balance between piano and strings is more natural and the colors of the individual instruments are more piquant and charming.