For several years, the St. Augustine area has observed a steady increase in tourism and continuous growth in population and commerce. Despite this – and the availability of accomplished talent migrating to the area – a void in quality cultural events seemed to exist.
Recognizing the lack of opportunity for world-class performances in the St. Augustine area, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra members Jorge A. Peña (viola) and Jin Kim-Peña (cello) envisioned a classical music series to celebrate the history and rich cultural traditions of The Nation’s Oldest City.
In 2007, the St. Augustine Music Festival (SAMF) was conceived as a free chamber music concert series to celebrate the rich artistic and cultural traditions of St. Augustine. The SAMF Chamber Orchestra concerts are presented at the historic Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, a beautiful, convenient, and accessible location with exceptional acoustics. This uplifting and welcoming setting provides SAMF attendees the opportunity to deepen their appreciation for this genre of music, connect with the community, and participate in a memorable and fulfilling experience.
Celebrating over a decade of world-class concerts, the SAMF Chamber Orchestra attracts internationally accomplished performers and young rising stars to its series roster each year. The annual festival has since become a highlight of St. Augustine’s summer season and continues to be the nation’s largest free chamber music festival.