Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, in a 1787 portrait.

“There are some musicians whose lives are so packed with excitement, romance and danger that you can hardly believe they’re not fiction,” writes Ivan Hewett in Telegraph (U.K.). “One of them is the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was famous all over Europe during his lifetime, vanished for two centuries, and is now being rediscovered. Born plain Joseph Bologne to a plantation owner and his slave wife in the French colony of Guadeloupe in 1745, he settled in France as a free man, where he was soon ennobled thanks to his world-beating fencing skills. He pursued numerous other careers with equal brilliance: virtuoso violinist, composer of operas and a dozen violin concertos, orchestra director, concert promoter, anti-slavery campaigner … Now Bologne’s story is being brought to the stage by the American musicologist and director Bill Barclay. His play The Chevalier, for four actors, a solo violinist and players from the London Philharmonic, which has already been seen in the US, opens next month at Snape Maltings in Suffolk…. The musician who has to emulate Bologne’s famous virtuosity is Braimah Kanneh-Mason … As for Bologne the man, the task of bringing this staggering over-achiever to life falls to Nigerian-born, New York-based actor Chukwudi Iwuji.”