March Upbeat with Alasdair Features Guest Speaker Mason Bates, Musical America’s Composer of the Year

Upbeat with Alasdair

The Symphony’s March Upbeat with Alasdair will Preview Mason Bates’s Week-Long Summer Residency and Upcoming Performances with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

Sun Valley Summer Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale returns to host his popular “Upbeat with Alasdair” speaking series on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Titled Meet Mason Bates, Musical America’s Composer of the Year, the conversation between Neale and Bates will provide an overview of Mason Bates’s work, including three pieces the Symphony will feature during Bates’s residency this coming summer. 

The “Upbeat with Alasdair” speaking series is held every winter and spring at The Community Library, located at 415 Spruce Ave., Ketchum. It provides an intimate platform for Maestro Neale to share his passion for music-making and his personal take on specific works with the community. For this March’s talk, Mason Bates will join Maestro Neale for a conversation about Bates’s compositions. Symphony fans may recall that the Sun Valley Summer Symphony commissioned Bates to write “Devil’s Radio” five years ago, for the occasion of its 30th anniversary. He will return this summer for performances of his pieces “Liquid Interface” and “Passage,” as well as an encore performance of “Devil’s Radio.”   

“I’m tremendously excited to welcome my friend Mason Bates back to Sun Valley and to have the chance to talk with him about his musical influences and compositional style as part of our ongoing ‘Upbeat with Alasdair’ series,” commented Alasdair Neale. 

Bates is the most-performed composer of his generation and serves as composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His recent opera “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” was hailed as one of the best-selling productions in the history of Santa Fe Opera, and it just won the Grammy® Award for Best Opera Recording. His pieces for orchestra often blend classical instruments with electronica and recorded sounds, and in his spare time, Bates works in several clubs as a DJ where he integrates classical music and electronica to packed crowds. 

The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but space is limited, and the event is often full. Those interested are encouraged to make reservations and arrive early. Reservations can be made by emailing or calling the Symphony office at or 208-622-5607.

Individuals unable to attend in person will be able to watch via video livestream on the Symphony’s website at

For additional information on the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and “Upbeat with Alasdair,” visit

March 5, 2019