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About Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Joseph de Bologne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) was the son of a slave woman of African descent and a French nobleman who owned the plantation on which she lived. Saint-Georges was first a fencing champion, then a classical violinist, composer and conductor. He was a pioneer in the string quartet and symphony concertante forms in France. As conductor of the best orchestras in Paris, Saint-Georges commissioned Haydn's Paris Symphonies and conducted their debut performances in 1787. Queen Marie-Antoniette attended