Blog

Mason Bates, pt. 3 (final)

JD: Back when we started this, you were talking about story. Do you ever think through the kind of “story” you’re trying to conjure up, or communicate? Or is it looser than that? MB: Well, it really depends on the piece. I’m way more programmatically driven than a lot of composers. Maybe it’s not that fashionable to do that anymore. JD: Well, look at Mass Transmission. That has text, and a really tender story, and the ...
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Mason Bates, pt. 2

JD:  Your Steve Jobs opera, how have you worked with the production staff about these concepts? MB:  It has to start with the libretto and story.  One thing that Mark Hamill, the librettist, and I wanted to do is to have a non-linear, almost pixelated presentation of the life of Steve Jobs.  We didn’t want this to be another bio-pic movie.  We wanted to drop into various parts of his life, all of which connect ...
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Mason Bates, pt. 1

Mason Bates, Musical America's 2018 Composer-of-the-Year, is a breath of fresh air in a room that is often accused of lacking ventilation! Mason is, at once, edgy yet traditional, intuitive and insightful, curious and experimental, and more willing to test the preconceived boundaries of the concert stage than possibly any composer before him. Small wonder that he is the number two most performed American composer! His performances are a mixture of DJ and symphony orchestra, ...
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Charles Dutoit

Between the time I conducted this interview and it was written and published, Maestro Dutoit’s career has altered due to revelations from the #MeToo Movement. Many, if not all, of his North American engagements have been canceled. So, why, one might ask, would I post Dutoit’s interview under such circumstances? I do so, while not condoning the sick aspects of people who allow positions of power to be used to attempt control of the bodies ...
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Alice Parker

Alice Parker, the First Lady of American choral music, invited me to her farm-home in New England, on a crisp Autumn day, to spend time together in an interview. What follows is the beginning of her account of what makes music important in our lives. When I walked into her living room, scores were piled high on tables and piano, at which point I noticed that she did not have a computer in the room, ...
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