Composer Mason Bates presents world premieres along with performances of his celebrated works with Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Pittsburgh Symphonies in 2014-2015

09.03.14
Mason Bates
Mason Bates

World premiere recording of Violin Concerto written for Anne Akiko Meyers included on  The American Masters to be released September 30th on eOne
  

Young, Juilliard-trained and already celebrated, Mason Bates has become a fixture not only in concert halls but in the world of electronica as well... At a time when symphony orchestras nationwide are trolling for audience magnets - the type of new material that can lure members of generations X and Y along with older subscribers - Bates just might have that bait." (Los Angeles Times)
 
“Here is a composer who has succeeded in nudging the glacier that is the classical music world into the 21st century. Mr. Bates has brought the thrill and expansive qualities of electronica and dance music to it, writing works that incorporate digital sounds. But his new concerto, written for and performed by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, takes a "step back" into purely acoustic music.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
 
September 2, 2014 (New York, NY) – The recent recipient of the Heinz Medal in Arts and Humanities, Mason Bates is a seminal force in American music. In the coming season, the composer’s works will fill the halls of major orchestras, including world premieres of three spellbinding new works in concert and on record.  These include the composer’s new Cello Concerto, with cellist Joshua Roman and the Seattle Symphony, and his acoustic “Anthology of Fantastic Zoology” with Ricardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra – with whom Bates is in the final year of his tenure as a Meade Composer-in-Residence. Bates’ new Violin Concerto written for and recorded by Anne Akiko Meyers has its first outing on record with the London Symphony, under the direction of Leonard Slatkin this fall as well. This season also marks the release of Bates’ debut full-length symphonic recording, a tour de force of his biggest works; Alternative Energy, Liquid Interface, and The B-Sides, with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.  A composer who “knows how to command an orchestra just as well as he does his touchpad” (Washington Post), Mason Bates continuously demonstrates an uncanny ability to transform and update the sound of the traditional orchestra, while meshing influences from the great 19th Century symphonists with his pioneering orchestrations, inventive narratives, and electronic rhythms.  
 
On September 30th, the illustrious violinist Anne Akiko Meyer’s 30th recording – The American Masters - will be released internationally by eOne, featuring the world premiere recording of Mason Bates’ Violin Concerto which he wrote for Meyers who recorded it with the London Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin.  The work was co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony with Meyers and has received performances with the Pittsburgh, Nashville, Detroit, Richmond and Chicago Symphony Orchestras in just the last two seasons. Also heard on American Masters is Lullaby for Natalie, a piece by Bates’s own teacher John Corigliano, also written for Meyers, and the violin concerto of Samuel Barbera teacher to Corigliano.
 
The San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas will continue its exploration of Bates’ music with their Beethoven and Bates Festival happening September 10-13. Each of Bates’s three largest works — Alternative Energy, Liquid Interface, and The B-Sides — will be paired with a Beethoven work, and all three will be recorded and released as Bates’ full length symphonic recording debut, in spring 2015.
 
From December 11-13, cellist Joshua Roman together with the Seattle Symphony will give the world premiere performances of Bates’ new Cello Concerto .  Also that month, the Orchestre National de Lyon under the direction of Leonard Slatkin will perform The B-Sides (Bates’ electro-acoustic homage to 1960’s psychedelic rock), Digital Loom, and the YouTube Symphony sensation Mothership (December 3-5.)
 
In early 2015, the Pittsburgh Symphony welcomes Mason Bates as its Composer of the Year for the second time, where his work will be performed over three weekends: Jan 23-25 (White Lies for Lomax), March 27-29 (Rise of Exotic Computing), and May 16-18 (Alternative Energy). Bates continues his Meade Composer-in-Residence appointment with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra June 18-20 where he will present the world premiere of Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, a surreal symphonic suite, which brings to life the strange and wonderful creatures from the book by magical realist Jorge Luis Borges.  The second Bates work composed especially for Maestro Muti and the Chicago Symphony, the Anthology draws on Muti's unique gifts as a musical dramatist.  For a complete season schedule, see below.
 
About Mason Bates:                                                                                                                   
Recently awarded the Heinz Medal in the Humanities, Mason Bates writes music that fuses innovative orchestral writing, imaginative narrative forms, the harmonies of jazz and the rhythms of techno. Widely performed by orchestras large and small, his symphonic music has been the first to receive widespread acceptance for its expanded palette of electronic sounds, and it is championed by leading conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Leonard Slatkin. He has become a visible advocate for bringing new music to new spaces, whether through institutional partnerships such as his residency with the Chicago Symphony, or through his classical/DJ project Mercury Soul, which has transformed spaces ranging from commercial clubs to Frank Gehry designed concert halls into exciting, hybrid musical events drawing over a thousand people. In awarding Bates the Heinz Medal, Teresa Heinz remarked that “his music has moved the orchestra into the digital age and dissolved the boundaries of classical music.” The San Francisco Symphony continues its exploration of Bates’ music with its Beethoven & Bates Festival. Each of his three largest works   Alternative Energy, Liquid Interface, and The B-Sides — will be recorded and paired with a Beethoven work this season and next. Another major work, his Violin Concerto, was recorded by Leonard Slatkin, the London Symphony, and extraordinary violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who will perform the work with the Chicago Symphony and many others. Continuing performances of works such as Mothership, which premiered at the Sydney Opera House by the YouTube Symphony to an online audience of 1.8 million, have demonstrated that electronic sounds can be a welcome addition to the orchestral palette with minimal logistics. While Bates often performs the electronica onstage with orchestras, dozens of repeat performances of his symphonic music happen without him. Many purely acoustic works complement his diverse catalogue, such as Sirens, an a cappella work recently recorded by the superstar chorus Chanticleer, and Desert Transport, which conjures a helicopter trip over the Arizona landscape. Bringing classical music to new audiences is a central part of Bates’ activities as a curator. With composer Anna Clyne, he has transformed the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series into an imaginative concert experience drawing huge crowds, with cinematic program notes and immersive stagecraft. Another new take on new music is Mercury Soul, which embeds sets of classical music into a fluid evening of DJing and immersive stagecraft. With ongoing collaborations with the Chicago Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony, and debuting last season in a sold-out show with the Pittsburgh Symphony at Static, Mercury Soul has become an important game-changer in both club culture and the leading “alt classical” audience development project within the symphonic world.

 For more info, go to www.masonbates.com and www.mercurysoul.org.