Guest Conductor and Talented, Young Pianist to Highlight Final JSO Concert of 2023-24 Season

Guest Conductor and Talented, Young Pianist to Highlight Final JSO Concert of 2023-24 Season

Did the Jackson Symphony Orchestra save the best for last? Tickets are still available if you want to find out.

The JSO will feature a guest conductor; a talented, young pianist; and music by composers from Austria, Germany and Poland on April 27 as it closes out its 2023-24 Classical Concert Series with “Greetings From Austria.” Tickets to the concert, which will be held at the Potter Center on the campus of Jackson College, are available starting at $20 or $5 for students.

Ankush Kumar Bahl will be filling in as conductor for JSO Music Director Matthew Aubin, who will be acting as a guest conductor on the same night at a concert at The Hartt School in Connecticut in honor of Glen Adsit. Adsit was a longtime friend and teacher of Aubin who died in January at the age of 59.

Bahl is the Music Director for the Omaha Symphony in Nebraska and has guest conducted with several major symphonies around the world, including the New York Philharmonic.

“That’s a cool thing for the audience and for the orchestra to get a chance to work with somebody that has a different voice, a different look, a different perspective on the music,” Aubin said. “It’ll just be different, and that’s good. I didn’t just pick Ankush because he’s my friend, I thought he’d fit really well with this program.

“I’m excited and grateful that he was able to fit it into his schedule and do it and allow me to be able to go pay tribute to my friend and mentor.”

The featured piece on the program will be Symphony No. 4 by Austrian composer Anton Bruckner, who was born 200 years ago and composed this piece 150 years ago.

“Bruckner is what we call a late Romantic composer,” Aubin said. “He was an organist, and he actually makes the orchestra sound like an organ. It’s a very big piece. Part of the reason I chose it is in the scherzo, which is one of the middle movements, I love the way it features the brass section in these very fanfare, virtuosic ways.”

The concert will open with pieces from a pair of female composers. The first: Overture by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz

“She wrote this during World War II,” Aubin said. “It actually has these little Morse code snippets built into it. It’s what we would call a perpetual motion piece. It’s very fast and very exciting. It’s a great way to open up a concert.”

That will be followed by a Piano Concerto by German composer Clara Schumann. This piece will feature pianist Kasey Shao, the 2024 Gilmore Young Artist winner at the Gilmore Piano Festival in Kalamazoo.

“The Gilmore Piano Festival features young artists who they have identified as being future superstars,” Aubin said. “And let’s be honest, they’re already superstars in terms of their playing level. So we have Kasey Shao, who is just fantastic, playing the piano concerto with us.”

Aubin is already looking forward to and planning for next season, which will be the 75th for the symphony. But first, the symphony is looking to finish up strong for the 2023-24 season.

“We tend to pick up as the season goes, and the last concert is the biggest,” Aubin said. “That’s proven to be true of this season.”

Tickets are still available through the JSO box office or at,.