Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Afro-French Composer, Born December 25, 1745 to A Slave and Her Master on Plantation in Guadeloupe

[Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violin Concertos, Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 2; Op. 3, No. 1; Op. 8, No. 9; Bernard Thomas Chamber Orchestra; Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Violin; Arion 68093 (1990)]

The phenomenal life of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) began with his birth on Christmas Day, 1745 to a slave of African descent and the White French owner of the Caribbean plantation on which she worked.  By the conclusion of his life, Saint-Georges was a leading composer and conductor who had served the young French Republic with great distinction as Colonel of a Black Legion during the French Revolution.

Numerous recordings of the music of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges have been released in the CD era.  An excellent biography in English by Gabriel Banat, and another in French by Pierre Bardin, have been available since 2006.  What has lagged, particularly in the U.S., has been live performance of his compositions.

In January of this year Leslie Kwan of the Boston ensemble L'Académie announced the performance of the composer's Violin Concerto in D major in two concerts in April 2012.  They were the first performances in Boston on period instruments, L'Académie says.

AfriClassical.com updated its page on Saint-Georges to reflect the current sources of his sheet music: "Selected items of Saint-Georges' sheet music are available at: www.artaria.com and http://www.omifacsimiles.com/cats/minkoff.html"  We sincerely hope that music  will be more widely performed in the coming year, so Saint-Georges can take his rightful place as an influential composer whose music retains its appeal two centuries after his death.

By Joy Fleisig @datadivajf 9:58 PM 25 Dec 12

Tweet from AfriClassical  26 Dec 12

@datadivajf Many thanks for the Retweet! It has been noted on the blog.

Tweet from Joy Fleisig 26 Dec 12

What was his actual name? Joseph Bouvier?

Tweet from AfriClassical 26 Dec 12
Joseph de Bologne was his name until age 17, when he purchased his title. See Para. 9 of his bio page at .

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