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Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (25 December 1745–10 June 1799) was a champion fencer, virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy planter, and Nanon, his African slave. During the French Revolution, Saint-Georges was colonel of the Légion St.-Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe, fighting on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry.

Saint-Georges' first compositions, Op.1, were a set of six string quartets, among the first in France. Two more sets of six string quartets, three charming forte-piano and violin sonatas, a sonata for harp and flute and six violin duos make up his chamber music output. A cello sonata performed in Lille in 1792, a concerto for clarinet and one for bassoon were lost. Twelve additional violin concertos, two symphonies and eight symphonie-concertantes complete the list of his instrumental works, published between 1771 and 1779.

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Recent Saint-Georges releases

Jean-Francois Paillard: The Complete Erato Orchestral & Concerto Recordings
Jean-Francois Paillard: The Complete Erato Orchestral & Concerto Recordings

£152.96

(Erato)

Mozart in Paris - Various Symphonies and Overtures
Mozart in Paris - Various Symphonies and Overtures

£10.35

(Oehms)