MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

The Apple of His Eye: Review of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

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EDWARD PARKS (STEVE JOBS) AND JONAH SORENSON (YOUNG STEVE JOBS) PHOTO CREDIT: KEN HOWARD FOR SANTA FE OPERA, 2017

My review of the new Mason Bates/Mark Campbell opera is now out on Musical America:

SANTA FE, N.M.—“Hope or hype? … Score or snore?” Early into The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, the snappy questions pour out in rapid-fire succession from an ensemble attending the first public announcement of the iPhone in 2007.

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Filed under: American opera, Mark Campbell, Mason Bates, Musical America, review, Santa Fe Opera

Connecting the Dots: Steve Jobs on the Opera Stage

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Edward Parks III, who will create the role of Steve Jobs; photo: Dario Acosta/Santa Fe Opera

My feature for Opera Now on The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, the new opera by Mason Bates and Mark Campbell being premiered later this month at Santa Fe Opera:

Six years after his death at the age of 56, Steve Jobs has achieved an almost mythical status as the cultural icon and technological innovator behind Apple.

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Filed under: American opera, Mason Bates, Santa Fe Opera

Only Connect: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

My preview feature on the highly anticipated new opera by Mason Bates is in this month’s issue of London-based Opera Now (available only via subscription).

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs will have its world premiere production at Santa Fe Opera starting 23 July. Co-commissioning companies that will stage the opera in future seasons are San Francisco and Seattle Opera.

Filed under: American opera, commissions, Mason Bates

New from Mason Bates: Auditorium

A day in the life of Mason Bates: after this morning’s Santa Fe Opera season announcement, with a foretaste of The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs, the San Francisco Symphony tonight unveils his latest orchestral piece, Auditorium. Here’s my introduction:

The relationship between Mason Bates and the San Francisco Symphony has played a pivotal role in the emergence of one of the most frequently performed American composers at work today. It began in 2009 with the first SFS commission of an orchestral work by Bates, The B-Sides: Five Pieces for Orchestra and Electronica (dedicated to Michael Tilson Thomas), and has continued through this most recent collaboration, which receives its world premiere on this program.

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Filed under: commissions, Mason Bates, new music, program notes, San Francisco Symphony

Mason Bates’s Violin Concerto

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Here’s my program note on the Violin Concerto Mason Bates wrote for Anne Akiko Meyers, on this weekend’s program with the National Symphony Orchestra:

With the Violin Concerto of Mason Bates, this all-American program extends to music being written in the 21st century. At the same time, Bates’s adventurous outlook and interest in expanding the possibilities of the orchestral sound world link him to the American maverick tradition represented by such composers as Charles Ives, whose music concludes the program.

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Filed under: Mason Bates, National Symphony, new music

World Premiere in Seattle: Mason Bates’s Cello Concerto

Mason Bates and Joshua Roman are teaming up again this weekend for a performance of the Cello Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

If you think symphony orchestras are merely about curating and presenting music by dead composers, you’ve been missing out on some remarkable experiences from the likes of the Seattle Symphony. The orchestra got a whopping six nominations for the 2015 Grammy Awards(R) announced last week — three of them for the apocalyptic Become Ocean by John Luther Adams, composer who fuses innovative sound painting with philosophical and environmental meditations.

And this week’s concerts bring the world premiere of a cello concerto Mason Bates has written for Joshua Roman, former principal cellist of the SSO who has since pursued a career as a freelance artist and new-music advocate. The program will also include Prokofiev’s Suite from Lieutenant Kijé and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty. On the podium will be the young Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She has been making news this season as assistant conductor under Gustavo Dudamel at…

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Filed under: Mason Bates, new music

Multifaceted Mason Bates Takes on Steve Jobs

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My first piece for Rhapsody is now online:

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the new film portrayal of Steve Jobs, which one critic dubbed a “kind of talk opera.” Turns out there’s an actual opera about Steve Jobs in the pipeline, and it’s by one of the most interesting young American composers at work today: Mason Bates.

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Filed under: Mason Bates, new music, Rhapsody

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