About the St. Augustine Music Festival

Date: June 18-20, & 25-27, 2020
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Details are to follow.
Website: St. Augustine Music Festival

Circumstances have brought about a change to performances this year. For the first time ever, artists will perform online on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the dates above.

A closeup shot of a violin and a hand.

Photography by Tim Savage

The St. Augustine Music Festival was founded in 2007 by Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra members Jorge A. Peña and Jin Kim-Peña. It aims to entertain, educate, and elevate attendees through classical music. In fact, it is the largest free classical music festival in the U.S.

The St. Augustine Music Festival celebrates the genre of classical music each year with renowned talent from all over the world. Additionally, from solo violinists to cellists to pianists, each artist is profusely talented. Attendees can look forward to hymns, solo recitals, music ensembles, full orchestral works, world-premier presentations of new works, and exponential talent. Furthermore, the festival’s venue at the Cathedral Basilica allows for outstanding acoustics and a wondrous backdrop. The concerts are free and don’t require tickets; however, seating is on a first-come-first-serve basis.

St. Augustine Music Festival 2020 Theme

The theme for 2020 is Celebration. We are honoring the 19th Constitutional Amendment by celebrating women composers and performers, including the world-renowned Jennifer Higdon.  Beethoven’s 250th birthday will also be celebrated.

Music Schedule

Below is the lineup for the St. Augustine Music Festival 2019. The 2020 lineup is to be announced.

The St. Augustine Music Festival will feature a strong lineup of artists, pieces, and instruments. Below is a brief outline. For more information, click here.

  • Simple Beauty, June 20: Simple Beauty is the opening theme of the music festival featuring works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Schubert. To be performed are select works including Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5 in A major, K.219 and Schubert’s Symphony No.5. On this night, the featured performer is renowned violin soloist Nigel Armstrong.
  • Percussion Fest, June 21: On this night, very talented percussionists Kevin Ritenauer and Joseph Becker will perform the following featured pieces: Dream by John Cage, Clapping Music by Steve Reich, Cross Hatch by Toru Takemitsu. Additionally, works by Bach, Andy Akiho, and Gene Koshinski will be performed.
  • Hope, Joy, and Love, June 22: The first Saturday of the music festival will open with Mozart’s String Quintet No.3 in C major, K.515, and later Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op.4.
  • A Musical Party with Friends, June 27: This Thursday performance will feature Mozart’s Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon in E flat major, K.452. Other pieces include Mahler’s Piano Quartet in A minor, and Beethoven’s Septet in E flat major, Op.20 for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and bass.
  • Piano Extravaganza, June 28: On this night, pianist Scott Watkins will perform a solo. Other pieces being preformed include works by Schubert and Hanson, as well as Liszt’s “St. Francis Walking on the Waves” and “Transcendental Etude No.9.”
  • Around the World, June 29: The final night of the music festival will feature “An English Suite” by Sir Charles Hubert Parry, Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” in memory of a Colin Kiely, and music by Shostakovich and Carl Nielsen.