St. Augustine Music Festival (SAMF), the nation’s largest free chamber music festival, has announced the 17th annual event will present seven world-class performances between June 19 and July 2. Concerts will be performed inside the historic Cathedral Basilica, the oldest Catholic Church in St. Augustine, which is home to North America’s first Catholic parish.
The St. Augustine Music Festival was conceived as a free classical music concert series to celebrate the rich artistic and cultural traditions of America’s oldest city.
“The St. Augustine Music Festival allows attendees to deepen their appreciation for this beautiful genre of music in a dignified, uplifting, and welcoming environment,” says St. Johns Cultural Council Executive Director Christina Parrish Stone. “This annual festival has become a highlight of our summer season and we hope visitors will continue to return to St. Augustine for this enriching and free event.”
Founded by Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra members Jorge A. Peña (viola) and Jin Kim-Peña (cello), the SAMF attracts internationally accomplished performers and young rising stars to its series roster each year. The 2023 St. Augustine Music Festival schedule includes:
Third Annual Juneteenth Recognition, June 19
In collaboration with the Ritz Chamber Players, the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration will showcase works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with featured artist Ann Marie McPhail.
Summer Solstice, June 23
A night of piano and voice, Summer Solstice will feature the new SAMF Steinway Grand Piano donated by the Mastriani Family. Performers include pianist Yukino Miyake and vocals by Ann Marie McPhail.
An Unlikely Relationship, June 24
An Unlikely Relationship will feature works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn.
A Night of Romance, June 25
A Night of Romance will feature works by Richard Strauss, Ernő Dohnányi, and Johannes Brahms.
Organ & Brass Concert, June 30
A brass quintet will join organist Tim Tuller on the magnificent Casavant organ to perform a variety of pieces and conclude with The Great Gate of Kiev from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Earth, Peace, July 1
Earth, Peace will feature works by Osvaldo Golijov, Richard Strauss, and John Adams.
Nigel’s Night, July 2
Featuring works by Ludwig von Beethoven and Joseph Haydn, Nigel’s Night will spotlight violinist Nigel Armstrong.
All SAMF events will take place in the Cathedral Basilica, a beautiful, convenient, and accessible location with exceptional acoustics. The Basilica is adorned with detailed stained-glass windows, intricately painted wooden beams, striking murals, and a grand display of 56 organ pipes. Its murals depict scenes from the history of the Catholic Church in the development of the New World, and its windows show scenes from the life of Saint Augustine of Hippo, for whom the city was named.
The event is sponsored by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council and the St. Johns Cultural Council, which promotes arts, culture, and heritage activities and events in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches.
For more information, visit SAMF’s website.