Recently named the first ever Composer in Residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mason Bates has a passion for bringing classical music to new audiences in imaginative ways. Whether through institutional partnerships such as his residency with the Chicago Symphony, special events with orchestras such as the San Francisco or Pittsburgh Symphonies, or through his classical/DJ project Mercury Soul, his approach combines an eclectic stylistic appetite, an eye for production and stagecraft, and a DJ's zeal for local outreach and promotion.


Exciting and diverse programs, featuring classical composers as well as artists outside the field, lie at the core of all curating projects.  With composer Anna Clyne, Bates has programmed composers from across the stylistic spectrum on the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series.  From Magnus Lindberg to the electronica duo Mouse on Mars, from minimalist David Lang to maximalist George Friedrich Haas, the programs balance heart and mind.   Mouse on Mars performing on MusicNOW Bates also curated concerts for the Pittsburgh Symphony in multiple venues; hosted several After Hours events at the SF Symphony; and launched the New World Symphony’s club programs with Mercury Soul. See right sidebar for programs. Hubbard Street dance performing at MusicNOW in a work by Anna Clyne