Preview: CSO, Hubbard St, Mason Bates

The next composer in residence at the Chicago Symphony moonlights as a DJ.  We'll get a preview of Mason Bates' particular fusion of symphonic and electronic music this weekend as the CSO plays his "Music from Underground Spaces" alongside dance from Hubbard Street Dance company.  Kyle Gann describes Bates thusly: ""Eventually, someone was bound to grow up so
immersed in genre-mixing that they would get both sides of the equation right."

Bates' experience in the DJ booth gives him an insight into contemporary dance culture that most contemporary composers lack.  Classical music has long been about dance music as the rest of the pieces on the program reflect.  De Falla's Three Pieces from El Amor Brujo is based on gypsy flamenco dancing.  Ravel's "La Valse" is a deconstruction and apotheosis of the Viennese dance form, the waltz, that had sprung up 100 years earlier.  Another piece by Ravel, the Mother Goose Suite, includes a pavane and another waltz.

I'll be there on Thursday.  Leave a comment if you are also.  If we get a critical mass of people, we can meet beforehand for a drink


  • CSO at Symphony Center
  • April 15, 16, 17 at 8pm; April 20 at 7:30
  • $10 (students, April 15 only); $40-100
  • Watch Bates talk with choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo
  • Visit: Mason Bates' website:
  • Read: Program notes for the concert
  • Watch more videos about Bates' music and Cerrudo's choreography: 1 2 3
Bates achieved national fame through his connection to the Youtube Symphony orchestra. Here's a clip of his piece "The B-Sides".

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