The South Carolina Chamber Music Festival is moving to the big stage this year.

The ninth edition of the popular event will, as usual, feature gifted musicians from around the world, and a diverse program of chamber music. And, this year, it will be held on the Mainstage Theater at the FMU Performing Arts Center.

Previous festival performances were contained to the intimate Black Box Theatre at the PAC. This year’s event is moving to Mainstage to allow for continued spacing for performers and audience members. Social distancing and mask wearing are still required on the FMU campus, so the move to the Mainstage was an obvious choice.

Attendance is limited to 100 at each of the two events in this year’s festival, and seating is by reservation only. Tickets are $10 for the general public. They are free to FMU students with a university ID.

Tickets are not available online. To purchase tickets, call the FMU PAC Ticket Office at 843-661-4444, or visit it in person, Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. The PAC is located at 201 S. Dargan Street in downtown Florence.

This year’s festival features two nights of exquisite music.

First, on April 19, baritone Gustavo Feulien will join renowned pianist and FMU professor Paolo Gualdi for “From Europe to Argentina: A Journey through Opera and Tango.” The concert will feature selections from Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Gardel and more that encompass both classical opera and South American folk music (tango). Gualdi, the festival “classical opera/south American folk” calls that dichotomy “a pretty neat combination.”

Feulien will give it its due — and more. The Argentine-born baritone was hailed by the New York Times as “rich voiced.” He has performed around the world and across the country and has appeared with the New York City Opera, The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Opera in Williamsburg, Theater Bremen (Germany), and with Teatro Colón in Buenos Aries.

Feulien’s American career debuted in Carnegie Hall. In recent years he’s performed in dozens of U.S. cities as well as in Germany, Canada, and his native Argentina.

On April 23, Gualdi will accompany violinist Cármelo de los Santos on concert entitled “Hidden Treasures.” The evening will feature music by Saint-Georges, Amy Beach, Drago, and Brahms. Saint-Georges, or more formally, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was a legendary musical prodigy who has been called the “Black Mozart.” Saint-Georges was the son of a plantation owner and one of the slaves of the owner’s wife. He was born in the then-French colony of Guadeloupe, but was educated in Paris. Saint-George was not only a brilliant composer, but a gifted violinist … and swordsman, who led a unit of non-white soldiers in the early wars of the nascent French Republic. 

The South Carolina Chamber Music Festival was created by Paolo Gualdi and friends almost a decade ago to create an outlet for the innovative performance of chamber music in Florence. Gualdi, an Italian native who has performed around the world, is an associate professor of music at FMU

FESTIVAL SEATING

  • Attendance at the 2021 South Carolina Chamber Music Festival is limited to 100 at each event. Seating is by reservation only. 
  • Tickets are $10 for the general public. They are free to FMU students with a university ID.
  • Tickets are not available online. To purchase tickets, call the FMU PAC Ticket Office at 843-661-4444, or visit it in person, Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. The PAC is located at 201 S. Dargan Street in downtown Florence.

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