Bates at home in both DJ booths and orchestra halls

Posted on: May 19, 2009

“Mason Bates’ tools include a laptop computer, turntable and a pair of DJ headphones,” writes Edward Ortiz in Sunday’s (5/17) Sacramento Bee. “And these he uses to traverse two distinct musical worlds: electronica and classical. … Bates’ star as a young composer is definitely on the rise. His synergy of electronica and classical music has been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras. And now his latest work, ‘The B-Sides: Five Pieces for Orchestra & Electronica’ will be performed by the San Francisco Symphony on Thursday at the Mondavi Center at the University of California, Davis. Bates’ work will be on a robust program that includes pianist Yuja Wang performing Prokofiev’s hyperkinetic Piano Concerto No. 2, and Sibelius’ Symphony No.4. … Bates describes ‘The B-Sides’ as ‘off-kilter symphonic pieces that incorporate the grooves and theatrics of electronica in a highly focused manner.’ The work had its quasi-premiere in April at Carnegie Hall and the Internet, when the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, led by Thomas, performed the final movement, ‘Warehouse Medicine.’ ”

Photo: Lydia Danmiller