Following up on a survey it commissioned about this season’s programming by 22 U.S. orchestras, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra interviewed Mason Bates, CSO co-composer-in-residence, on the future of new music.
Though the BSO’s survey documented that only 11.8 percent of works programmed by these orchestras were contemporary, Bates remains “bullish on the future of new music.” “While I believe the [11.8 percent number] should be much higher, it is not dismal in a field that is built around 19th-century warhorses,” he said in an interview posted on the orchestra’s BSO Stories blog.
Furthermore, the fate of new music has improved considerably since he began composing in the mid-’90s. “I do think some leading orchestras have changed the conversation,” said Bates, who in the BSO’s survey came in second only to contemporary master John Adams in the number of works programmed this season. “… [The orchestra has] always been an organism that has evolved.”
To read the full interview, click here.
Note: Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, commissioned by the CSO, will have its world premiere in CSO concerts conducted by Riccardo Muti on June 18-20. Along with fellow CSO co-composer-in-residence Anna Clyne, Bates curates the CSO’s MusicNOW concerts, with the next one scheduled for Jan. 19.