California Symphony to premiere Mason Bates work

Posted on: March 3, 2009

The California Symphony’s March 8 and 10 concerts will feature the world premiere of White Lies for Lomax by Mason Bates, the orchestra’s composer in residence. The work for full orchestra—originally conceived as a solo piano work—was composed as a homage to Alan Lomax (1915-2002), the pioneering ethnomusicologist who played a pivotal role in preserving twentieth-century folk music through early recordings, concerts, and radio shows. Bates describes his new work as dreaming up “wisps of distant blues fragments” inspired by blues artists such as Muddy Waters, discovered by Lomax during listening visits to the American South. Though Bates often composes works incorporating electronica and techno elements, White Lies for Lomax is a straight acoustic work. The concerts at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California are billed as “Young and Visionary” and feature the 32-year-old Bates and 22-year-old violinist Stefan Jackiw, who will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto; also on the program is Brahms’s Symphony No. 4.