The Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George
Joseph Bologne de Saint-George was the son of an aristocratic, white colonial ruler on the island of Guadeloupe and a 16 year old black slave from Senegal. Joseph was sent to the homeland France by his father to profit from a better and more profound education. Soon, he became known for his violin playing, his own compositions as well as one of the best fencers of Europe, proofing his skills in turnaments with illustrious people of his time like the Prince of Wales or the Chevalière d’Eon. He was named colonel to lead a troup of black soldiers in Guadeloupe during the French Revolution in order to help pacifying the islands. He was friends with some of the greatest composers of his time like Joseph Haydn and Chrsitoph Willibald Gluck and had conducted new works by Mozart, when the latter one lived in Paris. Although he socialized with the highest nobility, even with the king and queen of France themselves, his own aristocratic titles were not fully granted to him, due to his being a “mulatto.” His pieces for violin and piano have never been performed on a modern grand piano and have, for the first time, now being restored by German pianist Jens Barnieck (www.jensbarnieck.de) and French violinist Romuald Grimbert-Barré (www.romualdgrimbertbarre.com) in order to be performed in Germany, France (including overseas départements) and elsewhere in Europe as well as being recorded by the two musicians for the toccata classics label in London (UK). The musical scores will be available through a publishing house either in Germany or in the UK. Publication date is Autumn 2019. Lecture recitals, including an actor, who reads from the novel “Joseph, der schwarze Mozart” by Jan Jacobs Mulder were already programmed and are scheduled for future performances.
Diversity, Education, Cross-frontier collaboration