Chevalier de Saint-Georges (Joseph Boulonge)
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (December 25, 1745 – June 12, 1799) was a French classical composer, virtuoso violinist, a conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris, and a renowned champion fencer. Born in the then French colony of Guadeloupe, he was the son of Georges de Bologne Saint-Georges, a wealthy married planter, and Anne dite Nanon, his wife's African slave.
When he was young, his father took him to France, where he was educated. During the French Revolution, the younger Saint-Georges served as a 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 known classical composer of African ancestry. He composed numerous string quartets and other instrumental pieces, as well as operas.
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