A La Françaix
George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Serenade for Small Orchestra
Jean Françaix (1912-1997) A French composer and pianist in the Neo-classical style, Françaix began composing at an early age, publishing a piano composition at the age of nine. Influenced by his father, the director of the La Mans Conservatory, and mother, a vocal teacher, he began training at his father’s school and later studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he was a student of Nadia Boulanger. Throughout his life, Françaix composed operas; concertos; chamber music; keyboard, vocal, and choral music; and even scored films for Sacha Guitry in the1950s. His contributions to music for ballet include Serenade for Small Orchestra (1934), which Balanchine used to choreograph A La Françaix, and Concertino for piano and orchestra (1932), which Balanchine used to choreograph Concertino.