Artwork: Opus 7 by Gordon Shadrach
Design: Puncture Design
“Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, is not a household name. But in the 18th-century he was one of the greatest musicians of his day.”
– Marlon Daniel, Artistic and Music Director of the Festival International de Musique Saint-Georges
On June 18, 2021, Tafelmusik will reissue its landmark recording devoted to the music of Joseph Bologne, the influential Black 18th-century composer.
On this page, learn more about Joseph Bologne; Tafelmusik’s recording of and commitment to his work; and further reading and resources about Bologne and Black artistry in classical music today.
The Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges digital album includes orchestral excerpts from the composer’s opera L’amant anonyme, the Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 3, no. 1, and the Symphony in G Major, op. 11, no. 1 by Saint-Georges; the Allegro from the Violin Concerto in F Major, op. 10, no. 4 by Leclair; and the Symphony in D Major, op. 5, no. 5, “Pastorella” by Gossec. Jeanne Lamon, Linda Melsted, and Geneviève Gilardeau are the featured violin soloists.
This recording will be available on all streaming platforms on June 18, 2021.
Want to learn more about Bologne? Explore this collection of further reading and resources, which provide valuable context surrounding Bologne’s storied life and his contributions to the classical music canon. Read more at tafelmusik.org/bologne-reading
Learn more about Gordon Shadrach, the artist behind our new cover artwork, in this interview: tafelmusik.org/breaking-baroque/meet-artist-gordon-shadrach
Further, in May 2021, Tafelmusik hosted a panel discussion titled Tafel Talks: Joseph Bologne, Black & Classical, which explored Bologne's legacy. Explore highlights from this conversation at tafelmusik.org/bologne-recap
In 2003, Tafelmusik recorded an album devoted to the music of Joseph Bologne, titled “Le Mozart Noir”. A subsequent re-release of the same album, in 2016, featured abstracted, stylized artwork which obscured and erased Bologne's face.
We recognize that by using the title "Le Mozart Noir", and by using artwork which depicts the composer with an abstracted blank face, we have contributed to and facilitated the erasure of Joseph Bologne and his legacy. We regret, and apologize for, these actions.
With the goal of properly centring Bologne's achievements, our forthcoming digital audio release will be reissued under a new title, The Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Newly commissioned album artwork by Toronto painter Gordon Shadrach and an essay by American conductor and Bologne scholar Marlon Daniel will accompany the re-release, in order to properly depict Bologne.
Read our full press release about this project here.
June 14–20, 2021: a virtual training program for advanced students and musicians. LEARN MORE