Bologne: The First Known Classical Composer of African Descent
Time & Location
About the Event
Join Les Bougies Baroques (in collaboration with Cricklewood Library & Friends of Gladstone Park) as they take you on an 18th-century journey (in the form of a donation-based charity event benefitting the National Black Arts Alliance [registered charity 1065810] – to whom you can donate either via PayPal or by getting in touch directly, both through the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org) featuring the music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) – who was a composer, champion fencer, virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the Concert de la Loge Olympique (the leading symphony orchestra in Paris at the time).
Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, Joseph Bologne was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges (a wealthy married planter) and Anne (dite Nanon), his wife’s African slave. After being taken to France to be educated there by his father, Bologne would go on to become a champion fencer and lead the first all-black regiment in Europe (the Légion St.-Georges) as colonel on the side of the French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. Despite frequently encountering racism during the 18th-century, his high-profile patrons as both composer & fencing champion included Queen Marie Antoinette and Philippe, Duc d’Orleans. Other than Bologne’s music, the music of those who shaped his life and times will be also be included in this event, namely that of: his mentor François-Joseph Gossec (1734-1829), his Paris flatmate of two months Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), and that of acclaimed Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) – who was commissioned by Bologne to write a group of 6 Symphonies (now collectively known as the ‘Paris Symphonies’) for the Concert de la Loge Olympique. 'Les Bougies Baroques'
Conductor: Ian Peter Bugeja
Leader: Sam Kennedy
Featuring singers Louisa Petais & Gareth Davies
SET 1 (1pm-1.20pm):
J. BOLOGNE (1745-1799) – Overture to L’Amant Anonyme (1780)
F. J. GOSSEC (1734-1829) – Symphony in D major [Op. 4, No. 1] (1774?)
SET 2 (1.30pm-1.50pm)
F. J. HAYDN (1732-1809) – Symphony No. 85 in B-flat major, ‘La Reine’ (1785) [Movts. I & II]
SET 3 (2pm-2.20pm)
F. J. HAYDN (1732-1809) – Symphony No. 85 in B-flat major, ‘Le Reine’ (1785) [Movts. III & IV]
W. A. MOZART (1756-1791) – ‘Se al labbo mio non credi’ [K. 295] (1778)
SET 4 (2.30pm-2.50pm)
J. BOLOGNE (1745-1799) – ‘Du tendre amour’ from L’Amant Anonyme (1780)
J. BOLOGNE (1745-1799) – Symphony in G major [Op. 11, No. 1] (1779)
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