The students sat, enraptured, as Jean Ferrandis swayed back and forth on stage, his gleaming flute appearing to be just another part of his tall figure. Sweet notes emanated from the instrument, immediately silencing what would normally be a chatty crowd of teenagers.
Ferrandis, a world-renowned French flute soloist and conductor, visited the upper school on Monday, March 6 to help expose Dallas International School students to traditional French music. Ferrandis has toured throughout Europe, Asia and North America and has presented recitals in some of the most famous venues in the world. He is also a professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and at California State University, Fullerton.
Accompanying Ferrandis on piano was Angela Favazza, who has given concerts with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and other well-known musicians.
After performing a few flawless numbers, Ferrandis took questions from the students.
How did he settle on the flute as his instrument of choice?
“That’s really simple actually,” he said. “My sister played piano growing up, and my parents told me to pick a small instrument to accompany her on. So I picked the flute.”
Seventh grader Enzo MacGregor piped up next.
“How do you come up with ideas when composing your own music?” MacGregor asked.
“What is your name, young man?” Ferrandis said.
Enzo, came the reply.
“Every letter in the alphabet corresponds to some note,” Ferrandis said. “I will play your name, Enzo, and then I will just keep going.”
A beautiful, spontaneous tune then flowed out of Ferrandis’ flute, followed by astonished applause from the crowd.
It is no wonder that world-famous conductor Leonard Bernstein exclaimed, upon hearing Ferrandis perform, “It is Pan himself!”