WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem Symphony will present “The Chevalier: A Voice to be Heard,” as a part of its Etherbound series on Thursday, January 21, 2021, in collaboration with North Carolina Black Repertory Company and Authoring Action. This short film will be released at 8 a.m. on social media channels including IGTV, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as on the Symphony website and can be viewed for free. Timothy Redmond is the Music Director, Bill Barclay is the Artistic Director, and Gregg Jamback is the Videographer for the film. This project is a part of the Symphony’s Community Engagement and Activation project, MusicConnects, connecting a relevant topic of our time with music, specifically Black Lives Matter.
Joseph Bologne, who became known as the “Chevalier de Saint-Georges,” was born in the French colony of Guadeloupe in 1745 to plantation owner George Bologne de Saint-Georges and Nanon, his enslaved mistress. Joseph Bologne went on to become a master composer, virtuoso violinist, finest fencer in Europe, general of Europe’s first Black military regiment, and a crusader against slavery.
Bill Barclay’s play, “The Chevalier,” begins in 1778 and examines his friendships with fellow immigrants Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Marie Antoinette against the backdrop of civil unrest. The Winston-Salem Symphony’s “The Chevalier: A Voice to Be Heard” was filmed in October 2020 when Barclay and a group of actors visited Winston-Salem to present a reading of the play and participate in recording sessions with the Symphony. The film features scenes from the play along with interviews highlighting the ways the Chevalier’s extraordinary life continues to resonate today. Merritt Janson performs as Marie Antoinette, David Joseph as Mozart, and Winston-Salem’s own Jackie Alexander as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges in the film.
In addition, “The Chevalier: A Voice to Be Heard” includes several pieces by Bologne performed by the Winston-Salem Symphony (safely socially distanced) under the baton of Music Director Timothy Redmond. The works include the Chevalier de Saint-Georges’s Symphony No. 2 and Violin Concerto in A Major Op. 5 No. 2 as well as the Chevalier’s Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 1a No. 2 performed by violinist Brendon Elliot and Winston-Salem Symphony pianist Nancy Johnston.
“The Chevalier: A Voice to Be Heard” is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Winston-Salem Symphony and Concert Theatre Works, the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and Authoring Action. The Winston-Salem Symphony will present the full play, “The Chevalier,” during the 2021 National Black Theatre Festival.
“The Chevalier: A Voice to be Heard”is sponsored by: A Season Remimagined Presenting Sponsors BB&T Wealth/Truist and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; Etherbound PresentingSponsors Chris and Mike Morykwas; Project Sponsors Claire and Randall Tuttle, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Piedmont Music Center as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
The Winston-Salem Symphony’s spring concerts will be available online to Spring Stage Pass members or can be purchased for $20 per stream (concerts will be available on-demand for 30 days after initial post). Please visit wssymphony.org for information about upcoming concerts. Stage Pass is a digital membership program providing access to exclusive online content including live-streamed performances, Etherbound presentations, behind-the-scenes extras, and interviews with musicians and special guests. Stage Pass can be purchased at wssymphony.org for $75.
About Bill Barclay
Barclay was director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe from 2012–2019, where he produced music for over 120 productions and 150 concerts. A director, composer, writer, and producer, he is the artistic director of Concert Theatre Works. Broadway and West End credits include “Farinelli and the King,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Richard III,” all starring Mark Rylance. A passionate advocate for evolving the concert hall, he has created works of concert theatre for the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, and six times for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (“Peer Gynt,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Andris Nelsons, “The Magic Flute,” and “L’Histoire du Soldat” with Charles Dutoit). Other credits include The Silkroad Ensemble, London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Virginia Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Tanglewood, Washington National Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
About Etherbound: Orchestral Music and Artistic Collaborations in the Digital Space
The Symphony Unbound series launched two years ago as a way of bridging musical genres and bringing the Winston-Salem Symphony into unexpected, non-traditional venues throughout the community. Attendees have been able to enjoy folk music and bluegrass collaborations at The Ramkat and Muddy Creek Café, heavy metal for string quartet at Krankies, and more. With Etherbound, the Symphony continues its commitment to artistic innovation by bringing collaborative performances that are only possible online. The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered the live music experience for now, but recent projects with have shown that unexpected, non-traditional presentations of music—online, in the ether—can be a beautiful way to connect with one another.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony
The Winston-Salem Symphony acknowledges the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis and the lack of clarity regarding the duration of the pandemic. Though the Symphony is working diligently to create safe alternatives to a typical season, the organization is prepared to respond if circumstances necessitate changes to its musical offerings. Should the Symphony need to cancel or reschedule concerts outlined in this press release, the Symphony will communicate with Stage Pass holders through traditional communication mechanisms.
Established in 1946, the Winston-Salem Symphony is one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras. Today, under Music Director Timothy Redmond, the Symphony inspires listeners of all ages throughout the North Carolina Piedmont Triad with a variety of concerts, education programs, and community engagement initiatives each year.
The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T Wealth/Truist and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; Music Director Season Sponsor Betty Myers Howell; Etherbound PresentingSponsors Chris and Mike Morykwas; as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit wssymphony.org.