Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bates summons 'dockers'

Mason Bates, the Richmond-bred composer who introduced the fanfare "Sonic Panoply" and reprised his "Ode" in the Richmond Symphony's September season-opener and whose Toccata for organ will receive its premiere on Oct. 17 at Richmond's Centenary United Methodist Church, has written a new piece, "Mothership," for the second incarnation of the YouTube Symphony, an ensemble whose members are selected via online video auditions.

In his new score for orchestra and electronica, Bates is including four soloists who improvise their parts, musically "docking" with the "Mothership." The composer explains the concept, which isn't as radical as you might think, and may not be as Star Trekky as you might expect:

The 2011 YouTube Symphony, again conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, is open for auditions. It will gather for five days in March in Sydney, Australia. Details: