Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Joseph Boulogne "Chevalier de Saint-Georges" was born on Christmas Day, 1745. He was an African French classical music conductor, composer, musician, and military officer.

Boulogne was born on the West Indies island of Guadeloupe, where his mother Nanon was a slave. Boulogne’s father was a Frenchman, George de Bologne Saint-Georges. At age 10, Saint-Georges moved to France with his parents. There he continued his studies in classical music. In his music career, the conductor of the prestigious Le Concert des Amateurs orchestra chose Saint-Georges as First Violin in 1769. Saint-Georges made his public debut as a violin soloist during the 1772-73 concert season, performing his own violin concertos. In 1775, Queen Marie-Antoniette appointed Saint-Georges as her music director, and King Louis XVI named him director of the Paris Opera.

Saint-Georges produced 14 violin concertos and 9 symphonies between 1773 and 1785. He wrote 2 solo violins, 2 symphonies, 3 sonatas for violin and harpsichord, and 18 string quartets divided into 3 collections of 6 quartets in each. Saint-Georges also composed several operas for the Comedie-Italienne, beginning in 1777.

You can listen to one of his symphonies by clicking here



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