History of festival

The Rome Chamber Music Festival is one of Rome’s most anticipated cultural events . Rehearsals are open to the public and concerts feature both classical masterworks and contemporary pieces performed by world-renowned musicians. The Festival has played to full houses of chamber music enthusiasts from around the world and has received brilliant reviews every year.

Founded in 2003, the Rome Chamber Music Festival is endorsed by the Embassies of the United States of America to Italy and to the Holy See, as well as the City of Rome and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Robert McDuffie, the esteemed American violinist and founder of the Festival, describes how it began: “I came to Rome on sabbatical in the fall of 2002. I discovered a true passion for the world’s most beautiful city, and it was then that I started dreaming of inviting the world’s greatest musicians to perform in the spectacular and historical venues that can be found in the Eternal City. The Festival includes at least one work of an American composer each year, but its identity adheres to a true international ideal by inviting musicians from all over the world.

The 2004 and 2005 Festivals were held at the American Academy in Rome’s historic Music Room at Villa Aurelia on the Janiculum Hill. In 2006, the Festival moved down the hill to the larger and magical sixteenth-century Gonfalone Oratory, located just off Via Giulia, one of the most fascinating Renaissance neighborhoods in the historical center of Rome.

After six years of sold out performances at the Gonfalone, the Festival made its debut at the prestigious Palazzo Barberini in 2012. The 17th century Palazzo, designed by the great Baroque artists Maderno, Borromini and Bernini, is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of Rome’s famed seven hills. Concerts are held in the Palazzo Barberini’s splendid Gran Salone under Pietro da Cortona’s exquisite ceiling fresco, The Triumph of Divine Providence. In 2018 concerts will be held temporary in a different museum area called Area Mostre.
In 2018 concerts were held temporary in a different museum area called Area Mostre. For its 2021 season the Festival will be at the Auditorium Conciliazione, a recently renovated concert hall near St Peter’s.

In 2022 the Rome Chamber Music Festival will take stage for the first time at the prestigious Teatro Argentina, located in the historic heart of Rome. A new home between classical tradition and contemporary crossovers.