EASTON — The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra resumes its “Season Reimagined” on March 4 with a performance of Joseph Boulogne’s Violin Concerto, a work that brought critical acclaim to the talented son of an African slave.
The program, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of God in Easton, Maryland, also includes Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony, and features the Orchestra’s principal cellist, Jacques-Pierre Malan, in Joseph Haydn’s riveting Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major. New York City Ballet Concertmaster Kurt Nikkanen will be guest soloist for Boulogne’s Violin Concerto Op. 7 No. 2.
Tickets to attend the performance as a member of the live, socially-distanced audience of up to 150 individuals are $45, while supplies last. Tickets to view the concert livestream are $15. Both in-person and virtual tickets include special pre- and post-concert events hosted by Maestro Benichou, as well as on-demand replays of the concert through March 14.
In-person or livestream tickets may be purchased online at www.midatlanticsymphony.org.
“Our reimagined season’s focus on string works gives us the opportunity to showcase wonderful compositions that are seldom heard” said Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Music Director Julien Benichou. “We are fortunate to have inspired soloists such as Jacques-Pierre Malan and Kurt Nikkanen help us bring some of these works to life to inspire and enrich our valued audience members.”
Born in 1745 to a wealthy French colonial planter and his wife’s African slave, Boulogne studied music and fencing as a child. He first gained prominence for the latter, with King Louis XV naming him Chevalier de Saint-Georges, after his father’s noble title, though French law prohibited Boulogne from officially inheriting the title because of his African ancestry.
Boulogne, considered the first Black classical composer, earned public and critical acclaim with his two violin concertos, which premiered in 1772. He also composed symphonies and operas, and gained prominence as a virtuoso violinist and conductor.
Composed in the early 1760s, Haydn’s Cello Concerto score was lost until 1961, when it was discovered in a collection at the Prague National Museum. This early work, predating his D major cello concerto by around 20 years, shows the young Haydn as a master of instrumental writing.
Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony is based on the String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110, which he composed in 1960 while working on music for a Soviet-East German film about the Allied bombing of Dresden during World War II. The score was later arranged for string orchestra by Rudolf Barshai as the Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a.
Jacques-Pierre Malan, a native of South Africa, is taking the classical music world by storm with his unparalleled performances, innovative projects, and uncompromising dedication to energizing and uplifting both audiences and musicians. After earning his master’s degree at the Peabody Conservatory in 2016, Malan was invited to remain in the United States under a special visa for extraordinary artists, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony and several other organizations.
Malan has performed around the world, serves as an advocate for South African classical musicians in the United States, and returns to South Africa each year. On his most recent visit, he performed the Haydn C Major cello concerto in his home town Bloemfontein with the Free State Symphony Orchestra.
Nikkanen made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 12 and later was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform with the New York Philharmonic for a Young People’s Concert. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he has performed in Europe, Japan, the Far East, and in the United States with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra, among others.
For additional information about the March 4 concert, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-846-8600.