Hollywood Records releases ‘Chevalier’ (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) from Kris Bowers and arrangements by Michael Abels
To coincide with the feature film, Hollywood Records has released Chevalier (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with an original score by Kris Bowers. Included on the album are on-camera performance tracks produced and arranged by Michael Abels, and songs composed by Joseph Bologne, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Alessandro Scarlatti.
Inspired by the incredible story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) and her court.
“The story isn’t being told because it’s a black person that existed in this time period. This is one of the greatest composers who was overlooked because he was black,” says Bowers. With Bologne’s incredible talent and charisma, some liken him to an 18th century rock star, with Michael Abels calling him “the Prince of his day.”
Emmy award-winning composer and pianist Kris Bowers creates genre-defying music that pays homage to his jazz roots with inflections of alternative and R&B influences. The versatile composer’s repertoire includes documentaries Kobe Bryant’s Muse and Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, scripted series “Bridgerton”, When They See Us and Dear White People, and films ranging from biopics King Richard, Respect, and The United States Vs Billie Holiday, to the live action/animated feature Space Jam: A New Legacy. In 2018, Bowers had the honor of collaborating with Emmy and Academy Award-winning director Peter Farrelly and Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali on their critically acclaimed and Academy Award winning Green Book, not only scoring the film but also serving as Ali’s on-screen hand-double and piano coach.
Bowers received a Primetime Emmy nomination for his work in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix miniseries “When They See Us” about the Central Park Five. In 2020, he received another Primetime Emmy nomination for his work on the FX miniseries “Mrs. America”, and a further two nominations in 2021 for “Bridgerton”.
At the 93rd Academy Awards, he was nominated for his documentary short, A Concerto is A Conversation, which he produced, co-directed, and scored. Executive produced by Ava DuVernay, the documentary premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Bowers’ most recent work can be heard on Netflix in seasons one and two of “Bridgerton”, “Inventing Anna”, and “Colin in Black and White”, in the HBO series “We Own This City” (helmed by his King Richard and Monsters and Men director Reinaldo Marcus Green), as well as in the Ava DuVernay HBO Max limited series “DMZ”. His forthcoming film releases include Disney’s Haunted Mansion, from his Dear White People and Bad Hair director Justin Simien, starring Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, and Tiffany Haddish.
Bowers has recorded and performed with artists including Q-Tip, Aretha Franklin, Ludacris, Christian Rich, Jay-Z, and Kanye West and has contributed to albums by Marcus Miller, José James, Moses Sumney, and Murs. Bowers is an official Steinway Artist and was named one of twelve ‘Artists to Watch’ by iTunes in 2014. In 2020, he was honored with the Distinguished Film Composer Award by the Middleburg Film Festival. In 2019, he received the prestigious ROBIE Pioneer Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Two-time Emmy-nominated composer Michael Abels is known for his genre-defying scores for the Jordan Peele films Get Out and Us, for which Abels won a World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith Award, a Critics Choice nomination, and multiple critics’ awards. The hip-hop influenced score for Us was short-listed for the Oscar and was even named “Score of the Decade” by The Wrap. Other recent media projects include the films Bad Education, Nightbooks, Fake Famous, and the docu-series Allen v. Farrow. Current releases include Beauty which premiered at the Tribeca Festival and is now streaming on Netflix and Breaking (formerly 892) which premiered at Sundance and opens in theaters August 29. Abels’ third collaboration with Jordan Peele, Nope, released in July 2022.
Abels’ creative output also includes many concert works, including At War with Ourselves for the Kronos Quartet, Isolation Variation for Hilary Hahn, and the opera Omar co-composed with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, which opens at Los Angeles Opera on October 22. His scores have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and many others. Some of these pieces are available on the Cedille label, including Delights & Dances and Winged Creatures. Current commissions include a work for the National Symphony, and a guitar concerto for Grammy-nominated artist Mak Grgic.
Abels is co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase visibility of composers of color in film, gaming, and streaming media.
Searchlight Pictures’ Chevalier in theaters now. The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack available on all digital platforms.
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Chevalier (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
- Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 8, No. 2: I. Allegro†
- Sinfonie Liberté Parts 1 & 2††
- Main Title – Arrival at Polytechnic†††
- Fencing Duel
- Awarded Chevalier
- Violin Duel‡
- A Letter Came for You – Nanon
- It’s Called Ernestine
- The Kiss
- Soul of an Artist‡‡
- Scena from “Ernestine”*
- Now I’m Only a Negro
- The Only Home I Knew
- We’ll Find a Desert Island
- Not a Queen of France
- Flowers Through Church
- Choices Come from Within
- Composing the Finale
- Dansons Pour La Vie**
- My Child
- The Queen is Here – You Will Be Erased
- O cessate di piagarmi from “Il Pompeo”+
- String Quartet in D Major, Op. 1, No. 6: Rondeau++
- String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 1, No. 2: Rondeau++
- Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 8, No. 2: I: Allegro (Quartet Version) ++
†Composed by Joseph Bologne, Arranged by Kris Bowers
††Composed by Michael Abels, Joseph Bologne
†††Composed by Kris Bowers, Joseph Bologne
‡Composed Michael Abels, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
‡‡Composed by Michael Abels
*Composed by Joseph Bologne, Additional Music and Arranged by Michael Abels
**Composed by Michael Abels and Joel Virgel
+Composed by Alessandro Scarlatti, Arranged by Michael Abels
++Composed by Joseph Bologne, Arranged by Gareth Murphy