Chi-chi explores the remarkable life of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the son of a slave who ended up being one of the finest violinists, composers and swordsmen in Europe.
Chi-chi Nwanoku has spent her career travelling and performing in concert halls the world over as the principal double bassist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. More recently, she's been on a personal journey seeking out the lives and careers of black classical musicians from the eighteenth century who like her, played and composed music at the highest levels. In some cases, slivers of their lives are on record but you have to be quite determined to find out.
Chi-chi puts the record straight and with the help of some of the finest musical researchers around, she brings to the fore the music and lives of musicians like violinist/composer Joseph Emidy, virtuoso violinist George Bridgetower and composer Joseph Bologne, aka Chevalier de St-George who not only met Mozart in his lifetime, but who was known by all those who heard his music as the 'Black Mozart'.
In today's programme she explores the remarkable life of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the son of a slave who ended up being one of the finest violinists, composers and swordsman in Europe. And he also led the first all black regiment during the French Revolution against the King, whilst teaching music to Marie Antoinette.
Chi-chi also hears about the life of the child prodigy violinist George Bridgetower who delighted all who heard him included the Prince of Wales. He went on to play with Beethoven and inspire him to write one of the most difficult violin sonatas of the period.
Producer: Sarah Taylor.
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