Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Mason Bates to Discuss His Electronic Symphonies with Alasdair
Mason Bates works as a DJ in several clubs during his spare time, integrating classical music and electronica to packed crowds. PHOTO: Ryan Schude
Monday, March 18, 2019


Mason Bates’ choice of instrumentation would probably leave Beethoven scratching his head at first.

Then, chances are, the master musician would happily embrace it.

Bates’ symphonic music often blends classical instruments with electronica and recorded sounds. His was the first to receive widespread acceptance, and his innovation earned him a Grammy for Best Opera Recording for his recent opera “The Revolution of Steve Jobs.”

In fact, he was named Composer of the Year by Musical America in 2018.

He composed “Devil’s Radio” five years ago to mark the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s 30th anniversary.

And he will return to Sun Valley this summer for an encore performance of that piece, as well as performances of two new pieces. “Liquid Interface” uses recorded sounds and electronics to evoke the soothing and menacing aspects of water.  “Passage” incorporates excerpts from JFK’s moonshot speech.

Bates and Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale will offer a sneak peak during a free “Upbeat with Alasdair” discussion at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at Ketchum’s Community Library.

The symphony season will feature Mason Bates on Wednesday, Aug. 14, and Sunday, Aug. 18,

“I’m tremendously excited to welcome my friend Mason Bates back to Sun Valley and to have the chance to talk with him about his musical influences and compositional style as part of our ongoing ‘Upbeat with Alasdair’ series,” said Neale.

Bates, who will have a residency with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony this summer, is the most performed composer of his generation. He serves as composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

His recent opera “The Revolution of Steve Jobs” was hailed as one of the best-selling productions in the history of Santa Fe Opera. It continues to be performed around the country with productions this season at Seattle Opera and Indiana University.

Admission to Upbeat with Alasdair is free, but attendees are encouraged to make reservations by writing info@svsummersymphony.org or calling 208-622-5607.

Those unable to attend in person can watch via video livestream on the symphony’s website at www.svsummersymphony.org.


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