Mason Bates Named First Ever Composer-in-Residence at The Kennedy Center

By Jaime Prisco on Jan 30, 2015 09:08 PM EST

Composer Mason Bates has been appointed The Kennedy Center’s first ever composer-in-residence for its 2015-2016 season.

The 38-year-old Bates will compose music across artistic genres and curate a new contemporary music series in this three-year long residency with the center. His residency will also focus on working on different forms of community and audience inclusion, which will encourage the use of local artist and DJs in performances at the Kennedy Center.

“The things I would love to advocate for here are adventurous new artistic experiences, ways you can make those experiences fun and challenging and even social,” Bates said by phone to the Washington Post. “The Kennedy Center is uniquely positioned to show ... a national audience how you can present a dynamic, new experience in way that nobody needs a PhD to appreciate.”

Bates has earned degrees from both Juilliard and Berkeley and is also known for his work as a DJ in nightclubs across the country, using the name DJ Masonic. Currently, he is in the final season of a six-year stretch as one of two composers-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

“The Kennedy Center’s astonishingly diverse programs played such a crucial role in my early education in Virginia, so it thrills me to join this great team as Composer-In-Residence,” said Bates. “With its rich variety of art forms, the Kennedy Center is the perfect place for new art to impact not only the surrounding communities, but the national conversation as well.”

More information about Bate’s work as composer-in-residence will be announced at the Kennedy Center’s season announcement in March.

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TagsMason Bates, First, Composer In Residence, Kennedy Center, DJ Masonic