The Festival International de Musique Saint-Georges is a tribute to Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), a great historical figure born in Guadeloupe. He was Europe's greatest fencer and an exceptional military leader at the time of the French Revolution, but his true love was music. In 18th century France, he was recognized as a virtuoso violinist, conductor and composer. His operas, concertos, quartets, symphonies and sinfonia concertantes influenced the great composers of his day, including Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His life inspired iconic authors such as Alexandre Dumas.
Saint-Georges was also a civil rights hero around the time of the French Revolution. He was the colonel of the famous "Legion SAINT-GEORGES," the first black military regiment in Europe. He fought for equal rights for all, not just for the few. His extraordinary life was a model for Excellence, Strength and Perseverance even in the controversial time France was torn between the the slave trade, the Code Noir and revolutionary ideals. These values still hold true today.
Began as a “Prelude” (experiment) in 2011 to see if an international festival could be possible in Guadeloupe. The Association of the festival as we know it today was officially founded in 2016, giving its first edition in 2017 to great success and international recognition. In 2019 the festival celebrated the 220th anniversary of the death of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier Saint-Georges, and as the featured cultural event of the signing and formation of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The final concert was broadcast throughout French speaking countries on Guadeloupe 1re and FRO television and the first time in history a complete classical music concert was broadcast internationally from Guadeloupe.
Today, the festival is one of the most unique music festivals in the Caribbean and shows the cultural richness and diversity of the French Caribbean. It creates a spirit of unity and cultural diversity in Guadeloupe. It also demonstrated that the French Antilles could become an international center for classical music in the world.
The festival presents some of the most remarkable and artists on today's international concert stages, as well as a new face of Guadeloupe and the other Caribbean Islands. Every festival welcomes artist from many different countries and cultural backgrounds.
This years festival will present an exciting week of events including spectacular concerts, conferences, masterclasses, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions.