Equal Billing Project Part 2


In its second round of the Equal Billing Project, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra recorded its second album featuring composer Fernande Decruck in June of 2023. Under the leadership of Matthew Aubin and joined by soloists Jeremy Crosmer (cello), Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord), and Mitsuru Kubo (viola), four unrecorded concerti by Fernande Decruck were brought to life.

Album Release Date: TBA


Concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre

Jeremy Crosmer, cello

Fernande Decruck’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, completed in New York City on October 29, 1932, is a remarkable work that showcases her early melodic and harmonic style. Representing her first known concerto and large-scale orchestral composition, it reflects Decruck’s life during that time as she balanced her roles as a composer, organist, and mother of two. The concerto is divided into three movements: the Andantino non troppo in D minor, with its melancholic melodies and virtuosic cadenza; the Adagietto, molto tranquillo in ABA form, featuring an innocent cello melody and orchestral interplay; and the energetic Allegro energico, which begins with an ominous timpani part and encompasses an intriguing fusion of American cinematic sounds and a fugue section influenced by Bach and organ music. The concerto concludes in a spirited race to the end, leaving a lasting impression on the listener.

Decruck’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra exemplifies her musical development through collaborations with various musicians, ensembles, orchestras, and conductors. While the specific dedicatee of the concerto remains unknown, her collaboration with cellist Robert Refuveille may have inspired its creation. This concerto serves as a testament to Decruck’s talent and versatility as a composer, laying the foundation for her subsequent works that would evolve and mature over time.

Sonate en ut# pour alto saxophone (ou alto) et orchestre

Mitsuru Kubo, viola

The Sonata in C-sharp minor for viola (or alto saxophone) is Decruck’s most well-known work. Decruck created two versions of her world famous sonata, one with saxophone or viola and piano, the other with full orchestral accompaniment. The latter version is rarely heard. Decruck combines the Classical sonata form with impressionistic harmony and at times, polytonality. Decruck dedicated this work to Marcel Mule, the world renowned French saxophonist. Although Mule had countless compositions written for him in his lifetime, he took the time to record the Fileuse and Andante movements of the Sonata. Fileuse (“spinning”) features the saxophonist performing virtuosic passage works and takes the traditional place of the Scherzo.

Les clochers de Vienne : Suite de Valses <1935>

Brielh-Decruck published Les clochers de Vienne (“The Bells of Vienna”) in 1935, and it was performed in several concerts and live broadcasts from around that time. The music of this relatively early work by Decruck is bright and lively. The piece is unique in its pioneering inclusion of the vibraphone, an instrument that only became widely available in the previous decade.

Aubin had to do some detective work to bring the Les clochers de Vienne to light. As he related:

“I originally thought that it was lost. The family only had four of the five string parts. I found the parts and score to almost all of the composition in a music library at a Portuguese radio station. The people there scanned and emailed it to me, but three of the parts were missing. Another friend helped locate the missing parts in a conservatory library in Tours, France, and sent to me.”

Suite pour clavecin ou piano et orchestre <1946>

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord

Decruck wrote Les Trianon, a suite concertante for harpsichord or piano and orchestra, in 1946 and dedicated it to Marcelle de Lacour, who later became a professor of harpsichord at the Paris Conservatory. The title refers to two royal buildings, the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, built in Versailles in the 17th and 18th centuries. Decruck’s son, Alain, safeguarded the score in his private collection for many years until Maestro Aubin brought it to light.



A sought-after leader in today’s orchestral landscape, Dr. Matthew Aubin cultivates musical excellence through an innovative, community-minded, and inclusive approach.

Dr. Aubin currently serves as Music Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and Artistic Director of The Chelsea Symphony. In his role at TCS, he has led highly visible collaborations with partners such as actor John Lithgow, award-winning television series Mozart in the Jungle, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dr. Aubin has played a principal role in the initiation and development of The Chelsea Symphony’s annual competition for emerging composers with high profile adjudicators such as Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony and music director of the All-Star Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz. Dr. Aubin has led TCS in their Lincoln Center debut and conducted the New York City premieres of works by Mark O’Connor, Fazil Say and Caroline Shaw, among others.

As a consultant for the Amazon Prime series Mozart in the Jungle created by Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, Dr. Aubin was the off-camera conductor for an episode filmed on Rikers Island. Since then, Dr. Aubin has continued a relationship with the NYC Department of Correction, designing and conducting a series of concerts and education initiatives for detainees, both in person and online. He also served as the onstage conductor for the film Bel Canto with Julianne Moore and has been an artistic consultant for the hit television show Younger.

In his role as Music Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Aubin has transformed the orchestra’s visibility, both in the community and on a national scale. He has collaborated with world-renowned soloists such as pianist Pascal Rogé, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, cellist and composer Jeremy Crosmer, cellist Julian Schwarz, and composer Lowell Liebermann. During Dr. Aubin’s time as Music Director, the JSO’s season has expanded, and the organization is now regularly reaching audiences of all ages through expanded family concerts, education concerts, and the JSO’s Music on Tap series geared towards young adults. During the 2020 pandemic, he launched a series of digital initiatives, most notably the Random Acts of Music series. In 2022, he launched the Equal Billing Project, which records and supports the music of deceased composers who didn’t receive recognition or equal billing during their lifetime. Under Dr. Aubin’s leadership, the JSO also released a series of asynchronous, multimedia educational videos to be used in K-12 classrooms. These videos were based on the 2021 season’s virtual programming and explored musical concepts.

Dr. Aubin is the foremost scholar on the French composer Fernande Decruck. He has earned multiple research grants to study her significant life and work. In 2022, he was invited to be a panelist at the Fernande Decruck International Competition for Saxophone in France. A champion of the critical role of women in composition, Dr. Aubin is working to promote Decruck’s newly discovered lost music. He has edited and created critical editions of her work, which are published with the French publishing firm Éditions Billaudot, and has organized performances of Decruck’s music in the United States and abroad. To date, he has created two large-scale recordings alongside the Jackson Symphony Orchestra of Decruck’s orchestral works, with the first being released in 2022, and the second anticipated to be released in 2024. The first of their kind, these recordings are aimed at giving orchestras further access and insight into her brilliant work.

Dr. Aubin continues to be active as a freelance horn player, and regularly performs across the country. A devoted music educator, Dr. Aubin’s past associations include Assistant Professor of Music at Washington State University, Adjunct faculty at The Hartt School and Educational Programs Conductor for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.


Jeremy Crosmer is a remarkable young artist, both as a cellist and a composer. Crosmer completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition and theory pedagogy, and received his D.M.A. in 2012 at age 24. From 2012 to 2017 he served as the Assistant Principal cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony, and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017. He is the composer and arranger for the GRS Music for Health Initiative, which pairs symphonic musicians with music therapists to bring classical music to hospitals. In March of 2017 the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital launched a music channel which runs continuously, using four hours of meditative music composed by Crosmer and performed by musicians of the GRS.

Crosmer is a founding member of the modern music ensemble Latitude 49. He is also a current member of the band ESME, a duo which broadens the education of classical music by bringing cross-overs and mash-ups of pop and classical music to schools throughout Michigan. ESME released its first CD in December of 2016.

In April of 2013 Crosmer toured London with the Grand Valley State University Chamber Orchestra, performing the Boccherini G Major Concerto, No. 7. He performed the Vivaldi Double Concerto with Alicia Eppinga and the GRS in March of 2016. While still in school, Crosmer was awarded the prestigious Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award to publish, record and perform his Crosmer-Popper duets. He recorded the duets with Julie Albers, and both sheet music and CD are available online.

Crosmer has taught music theory, pre-calculus and cello at universities across Michigan. He draws mazes, writes science fiction and plays good old country fiddle in his spare time. He grew up in Conway, Arkansas.


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. 


Mitsuru Kubo is a homegrown, dynamic musician.  You could say she began studying music in the womb, while her mother studied piano performance in college.  A native of Seattle, Mitsuru grew up in a home that revolved around music; she even lived with her first piano teacher – her mother! She rebelled against convention at the age of 7 by choosing the viola as her primary instrument. The highlight of her early musician life was as a devoted member of the Seattle Youth Symphonies, performing with them frequently at Benaroya Hall, Key Arena, Meany Hall, and Safeco Field. 

At age 12, she travelled abroad to study in Seoul, South Korea at the prestigious and competitive Sun Hwa Performing Arts School. Upon returning to Seattle five years later, she studied with Helen Callus at the University of Washington – Mitsuru later followed Professor Callus to the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in California, Mitsuru was Assistant Director of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s Preparatory String Orchestra and was a frequent freelancer. She went on to continue her education at the Peabody Institute of Music under the tutelage of Victoria Chiang, completing her Graduate Performance Diploma.

Mitsuru has attended festivals all over the country, including Marrowstone Music Festival, the Heifetz Institute, Centrum Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. Her performance opportunities include playing for classical music greats Yo-Yo Ma, Marin Alsop, Richard Goode, Gil Shaham and James Galway to name a few. Her performance credits include venues such as Kennedy Center, the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.

Recently, Mitsuru has been sought after as a soloist. She has collaborated with conductor Matthew Aubin and composer Jeremy Crosmer to premiere new works with both the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and The Chelsea Symphony. Mitsuru also continues to expand on a range of musical styles. Mitsuru co-wrote and recorded an album with alternative pop/rock band Sonic Cult, with whom she toured across the US, Korea and Japan. Mitsuru is a founding member of the BeneSori String Quartet, members of which she met on the set of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, playing for Imagine Dragons. She is also a regular member of The Chelsea Symphony, New England Symphonic Ensemble and Westchester Music of India Group.

In addition to her performance career, Mitsuru is a dedicated teacher. Along with her private studio, she is on faculty at Love Viola USA, Friends With Music and the 4Strings Music Festival.

Mitsuru’s future engagements include a residency at Washington State University and a return solo appearance with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.




  • Letter from the soloist
  • Option to meet the soloist
  • and all below


  • Framed and signed commemorative poster
  • Option to meet with Maestro Matthew Aubin
  • and all below


  • Invitation to view the recording session
  • and all below


  • Name listed on CD booklet
  • Signed copy of the CD
  • Project Success reports and updates


  • $5,000 – Bill and Andrea Stickney – Soloist Sponsorship, Jeremy Crosmer, cello
  • $500 – Stephen and Shelby Foster
  • Mark and Jannis Buhr – In-kind harpsichord usage