The String Orchestra of Brooklyn, which delights in its acronym, will have a concert at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, Montague and Clinton streets (enter from Clinton) on Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 PM. It will feature works by Haydn (Symphony No. 44, “Trauer”), Bologne (Symphony No. 2), and Stravinsky (Concerto in d for strings). While anyone with a casual knowledge of classical music will recognize Haydn and Stravinsky, Joseph Bologne (image; Mather Brown, 1787) is likely to be unfamiliar — he was to me. Born in the French Caribbean colony of Guadeloupe on Christmas day, 1745 to a White plantation owner and a Black slave, he developed an early talent for swordsmanship. He moved to Paris, where his fencing talent earned him the title Chevalier de Saint Georges. He then turned to music, first as a violinist, then as a concertmaster, and finally as a composer, with a long, fruitful career that produced numerous violin concertos, symphonies, and symphonies concertantes, as well as six operas. Although he had a “close relationship” with Queen Marie Antoinette, during the Revolution he sided with the rebels, though in a non-combatant role. He was imprisoned for a year and a half, released, and died in 1799.
Tickets at the door are $15 for general admission, or $10 for seniors or students; children under 18 are admitted free. You may purchase tickets online and pay a one dollar surcharge.