Fernandina Beach, FL— Amelia Island, Florida’s northernmost barrier island on the Atlantic, hosts the ninth season of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, one of the largest chamber festivals in the southeastern U.S. Scheduled from May 7 to May 30, 2010, the Chamber Music Festival features more than 50 internationally-acclaimed artists and 18 performances in intimate, beautiful settings around Amelia Island, including churches, an historic courthouse and one of the best-preserved 19th Century forts in the nation, Fort Clinch.
Christopher Rex, the Festival’s artistic director and principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, said, “Entering its ninth season, The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has become a nationally recognized event, drawing music lovers from around the country. The 2010 Festival features a galaxy of internationally acclaimed stars , including pianists Andre Watts, and Valentina Lisitsa; The Eroica Trio; violinists Robert McDuffie and Arnold Steinhardt, formerly principal violin with the Guarneri String Quartet; cellist Andres Diaz; soprano Jessica Rivera; and The St. Lawrence String Quartet. These and other artists, combined with the unparalleled beauty of Amelia Island, are certain to make our upcoming Festival the best yet.”
Located a short drive north of Jacksonville, Florida and nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, Amelia Island features 13 miles of unspoiled, picturesque coastline. The Island has retained the architectural charm of the Victorian era, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated Fernandina Beach, the Island’s only town, as one of the country’s Top Ten “Distinctive Destinations.” Recreational activities abound on Amelia Island, including exceptional golf and tennis as well as deep-sea fishing, sailing, kayaking, and horseback riding.
Highlights of the 2010 Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival include:
* Pianist Valentina Lisitsa, May 7 at the Friday Musicale concert hall in Jacksonville (645 Oak Street) in a piano quintet and piano duet with her husband, Alexi Kuznetsoff; and May 16 on Amelia Island.
Described by critics as “positively dazzling” and “electrifying,” she has performed at most of the world’s most prestigious venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Valentina had more than 80 performances in the 2009 season.
* Violinist Robert McDuffie, May 13
Robert McDuffie, a Grammy-nominated violinist, has appeared as soloist with most of the major orchestras of the world. A New York critic recently wrote: “McDuffie is one of the finest violinists of our age.” Another review from the Chicago Sun-Times commented: “The evening’s hero was the remarkable American fiddler Robert McDuffie, who plays with magnetic energy and seeming effortlessness.”
* Pianist André Watts, May 14
Considered one of the greatest pianists on the international stage, André Watts burst upon the music world in 1963 at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. More than 45 years later, André Watts remains one of today’s most celebrated stars.
* Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, May 18 and 19
Violinist Jay Ungar and guitarist Molly Mason composed and performed the musical hallmark of Ken Burns’ The Civil War on PBS. The couple is recognized for its timeless renditions of hard-driving Appalachian, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, stirring Civil War classics, sassy songs from the golden age of swing and country, stunning waltzes, and deeply moving original compositions.
* The Eroica Trio, May 23
The Eroica is one of the most sought-after trios in the world. The three women who make up the Grammy®-nominated Eroica Trio—one of the first all-female ensembles to reach the top echelon of its field—electrify the concert stage with their performances of depth and precision. “This is a superlative ensemble, producing one of the biggest and most brilliant piano trio sounds in memory,” lauded a New York music critic.
* FREE MUSIC CONCERTS
As part of the Festival’s community outreach initiatives, four concerts of the 2010 season will be free of charge, including a concert in Central Park in Fernandina Beach, Florida on May 16, 2010 and a Family Concert on May 29, 2010.
Tickets for the 2010 Festival can be purchased by credit card at the Festival’s website (www.aicmf.com) or 904-261-1779. Ticket prices range from $10 to $60, with most priced at $25.
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.