Ballet Français


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2023 @ 7:30 PM

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2023 @ 7:30 PM

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2023 @ 2:00 PM


Section A: $35
Section B: $30
Section C $20
Student Tickets: $5

Join the JSO in downtown Jackson for a program featuring Ravel’s famous ballet Mother Goose. The JSO welcomes Iranian-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani for the American premiere of Fernande Decruck’s Les Trianons. Ballet Chelsea dancers join the JSO to dance through this tour of France.

Join us for a free, interactive lecture before the concert at 6:30pm. Saturday only.

Join us after the show for a free Q&A session with our guest artists. Friday & Sunday only.


<b>Jean-Philippe Rameau<br /> Zoroastre: Ouverture <1749></b>
Zoroastre: Ouverture An opera first performed on 5 December 1749. Audiences gave the original version a lukewarm reception, so Rameau and his librettist thoroughly reworked it for a revival which took place at the Opéra on 19 January 1756. This time the work was a great success and this is the version generally heard today.

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<strong>Richard Strauss</strong><br /> <strong>Dance Suite from Keyboard Pieces by François Couperin <1923><br /> Mvt. 3 'Carillon</strong>'
Dance Suite from Keyboard Pieces by François Couperin The orchestral Dance Suite from Keyboard Pieces by François Couperin was composed by Richard Strauss and consists of eight movements, each one based on a selection of pieces from François Couperin’s Pièces de Clavecin written for the solo harpsichord.

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<strong>Fernande Decruck<br /> Les Trianons, Suite pour clavecin ou piano et orchestre <1946><br /> Mahan Esfahani, Harpsichord</strong>
Les Trianons, Suite pour clavecin ou piano et orchestre Composed in 1946, this piece is by French Composer, Fernande Decruck, who is also the current featured artist for the JSO’s Equal Billing Project.

Read more about the project here and the composition here.


<strong>Camille Pepin<br /> Lyrae <2017></strong>
Lyrae Born in 1990, Camille Pepin is one of the most successful rising young composers of her generation. At the crossroads of French impressionism and American repetitive music, her distinctive sound-world finds its inspiration in nature or painting.

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<strong>Maurice Ravel<br /> Ma Mère l'Oye (Mother Goose) <1908–1910; rev (orchd) 1911></strong>
Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Ma mère l’Oye (English: Mother Goose, literally “My Mother the Goose”) is a suite by French composer Maurice Ravel. The piece was originally written as a five-movement piano duet in 1910. In 1911, Ravel orchestrated the work.

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Join the JSO after our Saturday night performance as we keep the celebration going with our Afterparty! All are welcome to attend with the purchase of a ticket or an invitation and you’ll be among musicians, guest artists, staff, and fellow fans of the JSO. This concert’s Afterparty will be held at Jackson’s iconic Mongoose Lounge and your $20 ticket will include 2 drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres.



Since making his London debut in 2009, Mahan Esfahani has established himself as the first harpsichordist in a generation whose work spans virtually all the areas of classical music-making from critically-acclaimed performances and recordings of the standard repertoire to working with the leading composers of the day to pioneering concerto appearances with major symphony orchestras on four continents. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010), a Borletti-Buitoni prize winner (2009), a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017), and on the shortlist as Instrumentalist of the Year for the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards (2013, 2019).

As a concerto soloist his partners at the podium have included leading conductors such as Leif Segerstam, François Xavier-Roth, Ilan Volkov, Riccardo Minasi, Ludovic Morlot, Alexander Liebreich, Martyn Brabbins, Thomas Dausgaard, Antoni Wit, Thierry Fischer, Jiří Bělohlávek, and Ed Gardner with major symphony and chamber orchestras and contemporary music ensembles. He also varies his solo engagements with meaningful chamber music partnerships alongside artists such as Antje Weithaas (violin), Maximilian Hornung (cello), Stefan Jackiw (violin), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Michala Petri (recorder), Adam Walker (flute), Hille Perl (viola da gamba), and Florence Malgoire (baroque violin).

Esfahani’s work with new and modern music is particularly acclaimed, with high-profile solo and concertante commissions from George Lewis, Bent Sørensen, Poul Ruders, Anahita Abbasi, Laurence Osborne, Gary Carpenter, Miroslav Srnka, Elena Kats-Chernin, Daniel Kidane, Michael Berkeley, and other contemporary voices in forming the backbone of his repertoire. His commitment to exploring the contemporary voice for the harpsichord is reflected in his 2020 Hyperion release ‘Musique?’ – a compilation of electronic and acoustic works including the modern revival of Luc Ferrari’s 1974 Programme commun for harpsichord and tape.

His richly-varied discography for Hyperion and Deutsch Grammophon – including an ongoing series of the complete works of Bach for the former – has been acclaimed in the English- and foreign-language press and has garnered one Gramophone award, two BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d’Or and ‘Choc de Classica’ in France, and an ICMA as well as numerous Editor’s Choices in a variety of publications including a spot in the Telegraph’s compilation of essential classical music and the New York Times List of Top Recordings.

He can be frequently heard as a commentator on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 and as a host for such programs as Record Review, Building a Library, and Sunday Feature, as well as in live programmes with the popular mathematician and presenter Marcus du Sautoy; for the BBC’s Sunday Feature he is currently at work on his fourth radio documentary following popular programmes on such subjects as the early history of African-American composers in the classical sphere and the development of orchestral music in Azerbaijan.

Born in Tehran in 1984, Esfahani grew up in the United States and studied musicology and history at Stanford University and worked as a repetiteur and studied in Boston with Peter Watchorn before completing his studies in Prague with the celebrated Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková. Following several years spent in Milan, Oxford, and London, he now makes his home in Prague.


Benjamin Mapes is an up-and-coming artist who is passionate about the education of his craft and being a part of the growth of percussion repertoire. Benjamin has a wide variety of performance experiences, most notably a performance with the MSU Wind Symphony at Carnegie Hall and with the MSU Percussion Ensemble at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He has also performed with the Peabody Percussion Group, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra.

Benjamin is also a founding member of MITT3N Percussion, which has presented masterclasses and performed at various venues along the East Coast, as well as Michigan and Texas. An advocate for contemporary music, he has helped commission numerous pieces from composers such as Juri Seo, Justin Rito, James Wood, Ivan Trevino, and Alejandro Vinao. Benjamin is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Michigan State University and holds a Masters degree and Graduate Performance Diploma from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, as well as a Bachelors of Music from Michigan State University.


Praised as “untimid and determined with a brilliancy of effervescence” in her album review by ConcertoNet, Chen-Yu Huang has established herself in the harp scene in midwest. Huang joined the Michigan State University College of Music in 2014. She also serves as the principal harpist for Ann Arbor Symphony and Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Huang is the winner of the Krannert Debut Artist Award 2010 and a recipient for Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship 2010-2011, of both prizes she is the first harpist ever to be awarded, among many other recognitions.

She has given masterclasses in University of Illinois, Arizona State University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, among a few. She has served as an adjudicator in several competitions such as Camac Prize Taiwan and AHS National Competition. As an enthusiastic teacher, Huang founded Capitol Harp Ensemble in2022, a non-profit organization that provides after-school programs for youths as well as adult enrichment classes. Her pedagogical compositions are published by HappyString Music. Her first album with Formosa Trio- The First Impression (“invites us not just for a ride, but on an adventure, requiring all senses”- Harp Column), which also includes several of her arrangements.


ConTempus Quartet is a part of ConTempus Initiative, a Michigan-based contemporary music collective. Founded in 2014, ConTempus Initiative is committed to making new music accessible to everyone by creating collaborative performances that connect with today’s audiences.

Drawing on the members’ wide-ranging careers as performers, composers, educators, and scholars, ConTempus’ principal activities include: commissioning new works, discovering unpublished or underrepresented works, collaborating with other forms of art, and presenting educational workshops and community outreach concerts. Performances have included collaborations with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Artlab J Dance Company, Michigan State University, Spring Arbor University, Albion College, Flint Institute of Music, City of East Lansing, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and many more.

  • ConTempus Quartet
  • Ji Hyun Kim, violin
  • Sarah Patterson, violin
  • Christine Beamer, viola
  • Jinhyun Kim, cello