What's in a Name?

Amelia Island

Amelia Island, Florida, sits at the southern tip of the Sea Island chain—a laid-back paradise off the southeastern U.S. coast and the most beautiful location for our festival.

Chamber Music

Chamber music has a few meanings. It can refer to a small group of musicians playing without a conductor, or it can refer to the size of the concert venue. Chamber Music used to be performed in small spaces, and we keep this tradition alive by performing in historic and smaller spaces here on the island.


The word festival also has a dual meaning. It can mean an isolated event spanning a few days or a few weeks, OR it can be a celebration! Our “Festival” is a concert series running from January through June that celebrates bringing world-class musicians to our island.

Our Mission

  1. Present the world’s greatest musical artists in chamber music concerts of classical and alternative genres for diverse audiences.
  2. Offer music education to concert attendees, students, and aspiring young musicians.
  3. Promote local businesses and tourism by attracting music lovers from Nassau County, northeast Florida, and beyond.

Our History

About The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival


The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival was founded in 2001 by Christopher Rex, a vacationer on Amelia Island and principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and a group of Fernandina Beach women who loved chamber music. The first season was launched with a budget of only $50,000, raised by a group of generous donors. Friends also donated housing for the artists, and some artists even donated their services to help get the Festival established.

Now entering its 22nd season, the Festival has developed into one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the nation. Grants from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, National Endowment for the Arts, as well as generous corporate contributions from several local businesses, help support the Festival. However, individual contributions and ticket sales account for the majority of our funding, and we continue to be a volunteer-driven Festival. 

Music education for concert audiences, students, and aspiring young musicians has been a core mission of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival since its founding. In addition to the Beth Newdome Fellowship and Master Classes, we launched two new education programs in 2019: the Christopher Rex Spring Institute and the String Education Program.

The array of internationally acclaimed artists who have headlined the Festival in recent years is impressive, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell, Chick Corea, Bela Fleck, Chris Thile, Emanuel Ax, and Wynton Marsalis. Our list of star-studded headliners grew in 2020 with Grammy-winning violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs, and Valentina Lisitsa, not to forget Dover, our quartet in residence. 

We have enjoyed a glorious past, and our future is even more exciting. The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has woven itself into the cultural fabric of northeastern Florida and the surrounding region.

Our Founder

The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is the legacy of Christopher Rex, who founded it in 2001. Mr. Rex served as artistic and general director of the Festival until his passing in March 2022. For over two decades, Mr. Rex’s passion and enthusiasm helped grow the Festival to the highly acclaimed status it enjoys today.

Our Founder, Christopher Rex