The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Black History Month with a performance of Violin Concerto Opus 7 No. 2 by Joseph Boulogne, the first classical music composer of African ancestry.
The concerto, featuring New York City Ballet Concertmaster Kurt Nikkanen as guest soloist, will be performed for live and virtual audiences on March 4 at 7:30 PM at the Church of God in Easton, MD. The program also includes Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony, and Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, with the Orchestra’s principal cellist, Jacques-Pierre Malan, as soloist.
Boulogne, the son of a French landowner and his wife’s African slave, was born on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1745. Though little is known about his musical training, by the 1770s he was recognized as an accomplished violinist, conductor, composer and teacher, with Marie Antoinette among his students.
His compositions include eight symphonies concertantes – a popular 18th Century French genre in which two or more solo instruments contrast with the full orchestra – as well as operas, several violin concertos and a large volume of chamber music.
Boulogne, who died in 1799, also was an accomplished dancer, equestrian and fencer.
“Few composers have led lives as varied and as interesting as Joseph Boulogne,” said Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Music Director Julien Benichou. “Though largely ignored for two centuries, his music is now receiving the attention it merits. We are delighted to present the second violin concerto, which captures the composer’s flair for melody and whimsy.”
Tickets to attend the performance as a member of the live, socially-distanced audience of up to 150 individuals are $45, while supplies last. Tickets to view the concert livestream are $15. Both in-person and virtual tickets include special pre- and post-concert events hosted by Maestro Benichou, as well as on-demand replays of the concert through March 11.
In-person or livestream tickets may be purchased online at www.midatlanticsymphony.org.
For additional information about the March 4 concert, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-846-8600.
The only professional symphony orchestra serving Maryland’s Eastern Shore and southern Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council; the Talbot County Arts Council; the Worcester County Arts Council; the Sussex County, DE Council; and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.