May 18, 2024
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Annapolis Symphony to perform a Community Concert featuring Bach, Chevalier de Saint Georges, and Mozart on Sunday

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform an inspiring repertoire of classical music from Bach, Boulogne – Chevalier de St. George, and Mozart at Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold, Maryland, Sunday, October 16, at 3 PM.

“This program is interesting from a musical and historical perspective,” said José-Luis Novo, artistic director, and conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO). The Baroque Ensemble features a reduced version of the full symphony. Just twenty-eight musicians are needed to perform the music.

“This abridged version of the symphony means that the audience hears the players with even greater intensity and intimacy,’ said Maestro Novo. “With fewer members playing, each musician has an even more important role in the ensemble.”

Associate Concertmaster Nicholas Currie, Principal Oboe Fatma Daglar, Principal French Horn Alex Kovling,  and Associate Principal Horn Shane Iler will play important roles in the music.

From a historical perspective, it’s worth noting that Johan Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, a series of six concertos he wrote between 1685 and 1750, are the first instrumental pieces for public concerts that are still being performed regularly, more than three hundred years later.  The powerful music resonates with audiences as well today as it did during the Baroque era.

Maestro Novo chose Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint George’s Symphony No. 1, because he wanted to bring the music of this infinitely interesting composer and conductor to Annapolis audiences. Boulogne was a creole virtuoso violinist, conductor of the leading symphony orchestra, and a classical composer in Paris who was also a colonel in the Légion St.-Georges, the first all-Black regiment in Europe. The son of a plantation owner and an African slave, Boulogne was raised first in Guadeloupe, where he was born, then in Paris, where he was gendarme to the King. During this time, he became famous for his skill in fencing. In 1769, Paris was astonished to see the chevalier and famous military officer playing in the orchestra. Joseph Boulogne was a flamboyant character with an exuberant life experience surpassed by none.

Novo notes: “It was said that Boulogne – Chevalier de Saint Georges loved and was loved. We’re certain audiences will love his music now as much as Paris did in 1745.”

The last piece of the program includes W. A. Mozart’s Divertimento in F major, K. 522, “Ein musikalischer Spass” (A Musical Joke). Music historians note that this piece is satirical, Mozart’s parody of the work of less competent composers. Maestro Novo enjoys music as a composer and musician for its wit and clever play with musical technique.

“In “Ein musikalischer Spass”, Mozart includes lots of little things that are funny. He plays with the expectations of people. Especially in the ending, the audience will be interested to hear how Mozart finishes the composition in an untraditional way.”

The ASO’s Baroque Ensemble program will be played Sunday, October 16th, at Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold. Tickets are available through the ASO’s website,, or by calling the box office.

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