The Chevalier

Feb 20, 2022
The Chevalier


In this special concert-theater work, conductor Dame Jane Glover, the Music of the Baroque Orchestra, violin soloist Brendon Elliott and four actors tell the remarkable story of the 18th-century Black composer, virtuoso violinist and friend of Mozart and Marie Antoinette, Joseph Bologne, known as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The Chevalier was the finest European fencer, a general of Europe's first Black regiment and a crusader for the abolishment of slavery.

Written and directed by Bill Barclay, this concert presentation weaves together Bologne's own music with semi-staged dialogue and offers a thoughtful meditation on the true nature of equality.

Brendon Elliott violin
R.J. Foster actor (Joseph Bologne)
Merritt Janson actor (Marie Antoinette)
David Joseph actor (W.A. Mozart)
Bill Barclay actor (Choderlos de Laclos)

Ticket holders are invited to a free Postconcert Conversation featuring Bill Barclay in Orchestra Hall after the performance. The conversation will last approximately 20 minutes. No additional tickets required.

The Midwest premiere of The Chevalier is presented by Music of the Baroque in partnership with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

  • Venue
    Symphony Center
  • Length
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Postconcert Conversation
    in Orchestra Hall

The Chevalier

Program to include works by

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Mozart and Gluck

Director, writer, producer and actor

Generous support for The Chevalier is provided by the Zell Family Foundation.

Commissioned by The Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2018
Debuted at the Tanglewood Learning Institute in 2019
Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2020
Recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in 2021

Explore more on Experience CSO
A champion fencer, high-ranking officer and violin virtuoso, Joseph Bologne was all those things in 18th-century France, but the classical world has only belatedly come to recognize him as a talented composer. The team behind the concert-theater work "The Chevalier" hopes to rectify that.
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With two programs at Orchestra Hall this season, Dame Jane Glover says, "I’m thrilled to be making my CSO debut. It’s an orchestra I’ve admired all my life. It’s a joy to hear them make music, and I cannot wait to be part of it."
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Before Amadeus, there was Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The 18th-century Black composer, musician, adventurer and advocate is celebrated in the concert-theater work The Chevalier.
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