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Chevalier De Saint-Georges
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Composer
    (December 25, 1745-June 9, 1799)
    Birth name was Joseph Boulogne
    Raised in France
    Wrote violin concertos, sinfonias concertante, string quartets, sonatas, and symphonies
    Music director for the court of Marie Antoinette
    One of the only composers of African descent to achieve success before the 20th Century
    Sometimes called 'the black Mozart'
    He was a dandy who wore the fanciest, most colorful clothes he could find.
    When the French Revolution broke out, he gave up music to join the Republican Army.
    When a friend confided in him that he supported the monarchy, Saint-Georges turned him in.
    He lost his military command and went to prison after being accused of embezzling from the army treasury.
    He was the first and only classical composer to be born a slave.
    King Louis XVI gave him the directorship of the Paris Opera, but the singers refused to be 'subjected to the orders of a mulatto.'
    He joined the Revolution thinking it would end racism in France (it didn't).
    He was an accomplished soldier, rising to the rank of Colonel.
    The embezzlement charges brought against him were proven false (too late, alas).
    He was an excellent swordsman.
    On a dare, he once swam the Seine with one arm tied behind his back.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro


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