Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce
Press Release
November 28, 2020

The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival announced today a host of exciting concerts for the 2021 Season. The line-up of international and national musical stars, as well as local artists, are scheduled to perform concerts both live in Island venues and virtually for the safety of both musicians and audiences.

Beginning in January, the acclaimed Dover Quartet opens the season, which extends through 12 spectacular concerts, and concludes in May with a concert by the world-renowned violinist Midori and the legendary bluegrass group Balsam Range.

In announcing the season, Christopher Rex, the Festival’s General and Artistic Director, said “it is exciting to present this season with both social distancing and online concerts because the pandemic has taught us, in the performing arts, how indispensable the audience is. The composer writes his music and we spend our lives learning how to bring the music to life. But without people to express it to, we have no mission.”

A wide array of internationally recognized award-winning superstars from multiple genres include
Festival newcomers violin virtuoso Midori and the New York Philharmonic String Quartet with Drew Petersen. Returning favorites include Pinchas Zukerman with the Zukerman Trio, charismatic pianist Valentina Lisitsa and concert violinists Robert McDuffie and Chee Yun Kim.

“Hosting these artists reflects our growing status as one of the nation’s premier classical music festivals. The ability to grace our stages with such internationally renowned artists is a testimony to
the strength and support of our valued contributors, ticket-buyers, and volunteers” said Christopher Rex.

The Dover Quartet
The opening concert in January by the Dover Quartet features the great Schubert 2 Cello Quintet.
Cellist Christopher Rex will join them. Dover is one of the most in demand ensembles in the world. The first-ever quartet-in-residence for the Kennedy Center, the Dover also is quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Chamber Music Northwest, Artosphere, and Peoples’ Symphony in New York. The quartet’s 2nd performance will be joined by acclaimed composer and performer, Edgar Meyer, bassist.

Edgar Meyer
In demand as both a virtuoso performer on the string bass and a composer, Edgar Meyer has formed a role in the music world unlike any other. Hailed by The New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively un-chronicled history of his instrument”, Mr. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience. His uniqueness in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award in 2002. Mr. Meyer’s past collaborations include many festival favorites such as Joshua Bell, Béla Fleck, Yo-Yo Ma, and Chris Thile.

A visionary artist, activist, and educator, Midori’s unique career has transcended traditional boundaries through her relentless drive to explore and build connections between music and the human experience. A leading concert violinist for over 35 years, Midori regularly transfixes audiences around the world, bringing together graceful precision and intimate expression that allows the listening public to not just hear music but to be personally moved by it.

New York Philharmonic String Quartet with Drew Petersen
The New York Philharmonic String Quartet comprises four Principal musicians from the Orchestra.
The group, formed in January 2017, made its debut as the solo ensemble in John Adams’s Absolute Jest in New York in March 2017. All four members are multiple prize winners, have appeared as concerto soloists with the Philharmonic and orchestras around the world, and have appeared frequently in the Philharmonic’s chamber music series at David Geffen Hall and Merkin Hall.

Drew Petersen
Acclaimed young American pianist Drew Petersen is a sought-after soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He’s been praised for his commanding and poetic performances of repertoire ranging from Bach to Zaimont and is the recipient of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, 2017 American Pianists Award, and the Christel DeHaan Fellow of the American Pianists Association, as well as a residency at the University of Indianapolis.

Peter and the Wolf
Peter and the Wolf is presented for children, including those of our Young Patrons. Peter and the Wolf will be performed as a four-hand piano concert by Julie Coucheron and Elizabeth Pridgen accompanied by dancers under the direction of Susie Dodge from the Amelia Island Dance Festival.

Beer and G-Strings
A collaborative concert entitled “The Four Seasons” brings back the popular concerts of years past. Festival favorites include Christiania Trio, Andres Diaz, Wendy Chen, and Chee Yun in 2 of the Four Seasons Concertos of Vivaldi and 2 of the Four Seasons Tangos of Astor Piazzolla in a “Battle of the Bands” at the Sadler Ranch Stage.

The Zukerman Trio
With a celebrated career spanning five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today’s most sought-after and versatile musicians as a violin and viola soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. He launched his trio in 2013, and since then, the ensemble has traveled around the globe and performed at such major festivals as Ravinia, the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Verbier, and Bravo! Vail.

Kelly/Scott Jazz Quintet
Collaborators since 1997, J.B. Scott and Lisa Kelly, have performed internationally for major festivals, jazz clubs, and jazz societies, as featured soloists with big bands, and with their own big band and small groups. They are highly regarded adjudicators and guest artists/clinicians for secondary to collegiate music programs, competitions, and music camps. They have co-produced 6 successful CDs.

UNF Big Band Ensemble
The University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble 1, led by director J.B. Scott, is the flagship ensemble of the prestigious UNF Jazz Studies Program. With an impressive list of awards, festival invitations, and recognition by industry publications for its improvisational prowess and precision ensemble playing, JE1 has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the finest collegiate jazz ensembles worldwide.

Valentina Lisitsa
With more than 83 million YouTube views, piano virtuoso Valentina Lisitsa is one of the mostwatched classical musicians on the internet. An Amelia Island favorite, Valentina is at ease with a vast repertoire, ranging from Bach and Mozart to Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, and Bernstein. Her orchestral repertoire includes more than 40 concertos.

Scherzando 20th Season Celebration
A collaborative concert, dedicated to the memory of renowned cellist and much loved Amelia performer, Lynn Harrell, features stars from our twenty successful seasons. Scherzando 20th Season Celebration will include violinists Robert McDuffie, Amy Moretti, Helen Nightengale, and Giora
Schmidt: violists James Dunham and Nokuthula Ngwenyama; cellists Zuill Bailey, and Christopher Rex; and pianist Elizabeth Pridgen. They will perform works of Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Wieniawski, and Chopin.

Balsam Range
The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre’s most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 8 critically acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation, and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry.

Festival Board President Emma Mills Bledsoe stated that tickets for the 2021 Season will be released for sale in December. She said, “Music truly soothes the soul and through this extraordinary group of musicians, we hope you will be refreshed and inspired, particularly as we look forward to a healthy new year.”

About the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary season, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is one of the nation’s most renowned classical music festivals. The Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
1405 Park Avenue, Suite 101
Fernandina Beach Florida 32034

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