Click play on the audio player above to listen to the full episode, or watch the performance in the video player above. You can listen to the Summer Concert Series live Fridays at noon through July 23 on CapRadio Music 88.9 FM in Sacramento, 91.7 FM Groveland/Sonora, or 88.7 FM Sutter/Yuba City. And subscribe to the CapRadio YouTube channel to see videos of the performances as well!
This performance features all-black composers and piggybacks on an educational film project currently being produced that highlights the life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a Black man writing classical music in the 1700s. You will hear gorgeous music for strings from neglected black composers, spanning the last 200 years.
Here's what the quartet's Susan Lamb Cook says about the performance:
My colleagues of the Chevalier String Quartet and I, along with clarinetist Deborah Pittman, were thrilled by the invitation to participate in the CapRadio Summer Concert Series and were eager to share some of the music we had been exploring over this past year. As we tried to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we discovered how important it was to each of us to stay connected to our audience members and to the world around us. As we listened to the call for more diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts, we found inspiration to dig deeper into the classical chamber music repertoire in order to find those gems that may have been overlooked because of systemic bias and / or racism. We hope that the selections on this program will bring you joy and enrichment, and that you will be inspired to support the continued exploration and celebration of works by underrepresented composers.
The Chevalier String Quartet is named after 18th-century violinist and composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges who was born of an enslaved Senegalese woman and a French plantation owner. Saint-Georges was educated at the best schools in Paris, rose in prominence as a virtuoso violinist, composer, and conductor, and led a military regiment during the French Revolution. The quartet was formed as part of the VITA Academy's Chevalier Project, which brings to life the story of this fascinating historical figure through a video, study guide, and musical performances.
Susan Lamb Cook is a member of the Chevalier String Quartet, and co-producer along with Deborah Pittman of the VITA Academy's Chevalier Project.