On The Waterfront, A free Concert at Cherry Street Pier with Music by Leonard Bernstein, Jennifer Higdon, and Mason Bates on Friday June 7 8:00 - 9:00 pm

Philadelphia premiere of his Liquid Interface

American composer Mason Bates (b. 1977) is known for his contemporary classical music and as a DJ of electronic dance music. He has worked closely with the San Francisco Symphony and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he was composer-in-residence under conductor Riccardo Muti. Since 2015 he has served as the first ever composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center. Selected as Musical America’s Composer of the Year in 2018, Bates also won a 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera, for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.

Of his Liquid Interface (2007), Bates explains:

"Water has influenced countless musical endeavors – La Mer and Siegfried's Rhine Journey quickly come to mind – but it was only after living on Berlin’s enormous Lake Wannsee did I become consumed with a new take on the idea. Over the course of barely two months, I watched this huge body of water transform from an ice sheet thick enough to support sausage venders, to a refreshing swimming destination heavy with humidity. If the play of the waves inspired Debussy, then what about water in its variety of forms."

Mason Bates wMason Bates wearing headphones and DJing with two apple comupters

The form of Liquid Interface follows the progression of water in a world of increasing global warming. Here are links to each movement of this remarkable music.

I. Glaciers Calving

II. Scherzo Liquido 

III. Crescent City (New Orleans)

IV. On the Wannsee

“…surpassed in sheer sonic beauty even the works by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky that rounded out the program. …. 17 types of percussion, not counting the laptop – Bates renders these scenes primarily with tone colors… a glorious haze coming from the Wannsee that felt unreal in the best sense.” – The Washington Post

“a cogent and beautiful musical narrative.” – San Francisco Chronicle

"The electronica ranges from actual sounds of calving Antarctic glaciers and creaking ships’ masts to percussive beats and synthesized snaps, crackles, pops and trip-hop rhythms that fan out over the orchestra like monstrous ocean waves. … whoops of delight from the audience." – Chicago Tribune


Along The Delaware, A free Concert at Cherry Street Pier with Music by George Crumb, Benjamin Wenzelberg and Gabriela Ortiz on Sunday June 9 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Lead support for these concerts is provided by the William Penn Foundation.  
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