St. Augustine Music Festival kicks off June 23


The St. Augustine Music Festival has announced its 2022 concert schedule and programs. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. Seating is free. Reservations are available now on Eventbrite.

This season, the festival features numerous well-known and unique pieces and musicians, including a vocal performance by soprano Emily Birsan.

The 2022 schedule and highlights are as follows:

  • Virtuosity and Beauty: June 23, featuring Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 and violist Jorge Pena

Jorge and his wife, Jin, founded the St. Augustine Music Festival 16 years ago. He has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony since 1996 and general manager of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia since 2013.

  • Postcards from Austria: June 24, featuring Brahms’ Piano Quintet and pianist Terrence Wilson

Acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun as “one of the biggest pianistic talents to have emerged in this country in the last 25 years,” pianist Terrence Wilson has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Washington, D.C. (National Symphony), San Francisco, St. Louis and with the orchestras of Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

  • Danses and Spells: June 25, featuring Liszt’s Malediction for Piano and String Orchestra and pianist Audrey Vardenega

Praised as a “musically eloquent” (SF Classical Voice) player “with the kind of freedom, authority and strength … that one expects from the world’s finest pianists” and a “bewildering musical presence” (The Piedmont Post), American pianist Audrey Vardenega has performed as a solo and collaborative pianist across Europe, China and the United States.

  • Mozart and More: June 30, featuring Mozart-Robert Stallman’s Quintet in C, K521 (1787) For Flute, Violin, 2 Violas and Cello and violinist Nigel Armstrong

A graduate of the Colburn School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Nigel Armstrong is emerging as a dynamic and creative artist both within and beyond the realm of classical music. He has appeared as concertmaster with the Colburn Orchestra, The Curtis Symphony Orchestra and the New York String Orchestra in their annual Carnegie Hall performances.

  • Rare Musical Gems: July 1, featuring the Guillaume Concession and Aurica Duca, violinist

Aurica Duca has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony since 2006. She is currently principal second violinist. She has received many awards for her virtuosity including first prize in the Cronelia Bronzetti Violin Competition and the International Violin Competition of Brasov. Duca was the grand prize winner at the Paul Constantinescu International Competition in Romania.

  • Baroque to Romanticism: July 2, featuring Songs of a Wayfairer and Emily Birsan, Soprano

The London Telegraph said of Birson: “…she sang with radiant delicacy.” The American soprano has shared her engaging skills with many of the world’s finest opera houses and orchestras, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Welsh National Opera, the Edinburgh Festival and the Boston Lyric Opera.

The St. Augustine Music Festival is the largest, free, world-class music festival in the United States, performing to 6,000 concert guests over six evenings the last two weeks of June.

Musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony are joined by internationally-known guest artists who perform everything from Bach to Stravinsky, intimate solo recitals, chamber music ensembles, and full orchestral works, plus world-premiere presentations of new works.


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