Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Symphony celebrates live music at a benefit event; Works of Joseph Bologne and Adolphus Hailstork Included

Joseph Bologne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799)
(Gordon Shadrach)

July 13, 2021

A poolside benefit concert this Sunday by the Cape Ann Symphony features some celebrated, yet lesser known, music from Black composers past and present and a French woman composer.

The symphony presents its outdoor "Musical Celebration of Summer" with two performances on July 18 featuring an 18-member chamber orchestra under the direction of conductor Yoichi Udagawa at the home of symphony President Fran White. Seating is limited to 70.

The musical program features work by Adolphus Hailstork, a living composer; and Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) and Joseph Bologne (1745-1799). The symphony's principal flutist, Stephanie Stathos, will be the featured soloist during the performance of Chaminade's "Concertino for Flute."


Bologne is known as the first classical musician of African descent, the son of a plantation owner in the French colony of Guadeloupe and an African slave. His father did not turn his back on this child, and took him to France for an education. During the French Revolution, Bologne served as a colonel of the Légion St. Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe and later became a champion fencer. But he found time to pursue his love of music, becoming a virtuoso violinist and conductor, according to historical records.


Hailstork, born in 1941, studied violin, piano, organ, and voice. He composes works of all kinds, blending elements from the African American and European traditions. He began his studies at Howard University, and ultimately received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. He went on to earn his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University.

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