Hearing intricate and captivating classical music waft through the evening air has quickly become a summer tradition thanks to the St. Augustine Music Festival. The free concert series is entering its 10th year in the Ancient City and the musical offerings have become no less essential to June entertainment. In order for you to get the most out of the festival and make sure you don’t miss a thing, here are the essentials of the 2017 St. Augustine Music Festival.
Every year, the Festival features classical musicians from all over the world highlighting a range of instruments and musical talents. Most of the performers will take the spotlight as featured soloists (or duos or trios) with a number of musicians behind them.
Nigel Armstrong, Violin
June 15, 7:30pm
Hailed as “an astonishing talent, with exquisite technique”, Nigel Armstrong was born in Sonoma, California where he began playing the violin at the age of five. At a young age, he traveled the world performing in competitions, and one thing is for certain– Nigel has reached an extremely high level of violin playing, which he has spiced with a sense of adventure and individuality. He has worked intensely on the violin: studying four years at the Colburn School followed by two at the Curtis Institute; performing as a soloist with numerous orchestras; and winning awards and international competitions, including the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition and the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition.
Stephen Robinson, Guitar
June 16, 7:30pm
Acclaimed by The New York Times for his “effortless virtuosity,” Stephen Robinson performs and conducts master classes at leading musical institutions and festivals worldwide. In addition to serving as Professor of Guitar at Stetson University, Deland, Florida, since 1983, Dr. Robinson is an award-winning recording artist. The late renowned guitarist Andrés Segovia described him as “a magnificent guitarist, one of the most brilliant guitarists of our times.”
Leon Fleisher & Katherine Jacobson, Piano
June 17, 7:30pm
Duo performances of legendary pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher with internationally renowned pianist Katherine Jacobson have received accolades from music’s most respected critics. The duo performs in recital and with orchestras around the world. Their performances of the Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos in F Major (K. 242) have been hailed in appearances in New York at Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia, Naples, Toronto, Dublin and Tokyo.
The Diaz Trio, Strings
June 22, 7:30pm
One of the few professional string trios in existence today, the Diaz Trio has become one of the finest chamber ensembles in the United States. Composed of three internationally acclaimed artists, Andrés Cárdenes, Roberto Diaz and Andrés Diaz, the trio performs regularly in recital and at festivals around the world. In 1993 at the invitation of Isaac Stern, the trio performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall to celebrate the next one hundred years of music-making at Carnegie Hall and have continued making appearances at some of the most elite and prestigious venues and festivals around the world.
Elissa Koljonen, Violin
June 24, 7:30pm
Recognized as one of the most celebrated violinists of her generation, Elissa Koljonen has thrilled audiences and critics in over one hundred cities throughout the world. Elissa initially received international acclaim when she became the first recipient of the prestigious Henryk Szeryng Foundation Award and silver medalist of the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition. Elissa is a protégé of the great Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music. Through his influence, she continues the legacy and tradition of Leopold Auer and his legendary school of violin playing.
Please note that there is a performance at 7:30pm on Friday, June 23. This performance has no current featured artist, but its program will include Horn Sextet in E flat Major, Op. 81b by Ludwig van Beethoven and String Quartet in F Major by Maurice Ravel.
All performances are held at the Cathedral Basilica in downtown St. Augustine. The festival is free and open to the public, but seating is extremely limited so space is first-come-first-serve. You do not need a ticket to enter the performances.