Mason Bates

Music

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Donato Cabrera, conductor, with Chen Zhao, violin, and Katie Kadarauch, viola in Mason Bates, Mozart, and Bartók

Mason Bates will surely forgive us--if I suggest the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra out-deviled everyone at this concert! For a Saturday afternoon in May, Davies Hall was well attended, with a more jovial parental buzz than usual. Lots of children were in the audience. Hope springs eternal they won't fidget--utopian when dealing with three-year-olds inclined to crawl. One of the forward boxes resembled a puppy-pen throughout, with lots of motion, aleatoric burbling and various appendages attempting to escape the banister. But no matter.The music won.
Music

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra at Davies Hall gets ready for its European tour

I had the good fortune of catching the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra by the tail last month, just as they set out on their tenth European tour. The orchestra has been wowing audiences at the Philharmonie, the Concertgebouw and the Mariinski ever since 1986. I suspect they will make a similar impact this time, under the baton of Donato Cabrera, who also stewards the Las Vegas Philharmonic and California Symphony these days.
Music

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti Visit San Francisco: Honegger: Pacific 231, Bates: Alternative Energy, Franck: Symphony in D-minor

Choose wisely what and how you imitate.... This may be the composer's lesson to take away from last Tuesday's much anticipated San Francisco visit by the Chicago Symphony, led by Riccardo Muti. Though Muti's program concluded traditionally, with the Franck Symphony in D-minor, the first half of his concert was devoted to two pieces which undertake, with differing levels of success, the engineering of musical expression through depiction.
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