by Jarrett Hoffman
Concluding this season’s Family Concert Series, The Cleveland Orchestra will use both theater and music to shine a spotlight on the singular figure of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges — composer, violinist, conductor, fencer, colonel, and abolitionist.
On Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 am at Mandel Hall, conductor Vinay Parameswaran and the Orchestra will be joined by guest violinist Brendon Elliott and four actors in a play-turned-concert-production titled “The Chevalier.” Written and directed by Bill Barclay, the show examines Bologne’s friendships with Mozart, Marie Antoinette, and Alexander Dumas, as well as his little-known contributions to the anti-slavery movement in France. Tickets are available here.
“Joseph Bologne is a tremendously important figure,” Parameswaran said during a recent telephone conversation, while also noting that the composer’s music is not particularly well known. “When people say that he was brilliant, that certainly comes through in these pieces that we’re playing.”