Speaker Spotlight: Mason Bates on changes at the Detroit Symphony

We’re looking forward to welcoming composer Mason Bates (a.k.a. DJ Masonic) to our free live event in March. He just recently completed a series of concerts at the Detroit Symphony and has an interesting write-up on his blog.

Attention, American orchestras: look to Detroit for a way forward.

Wait a minute — the Detroit Symphony? The storied orchestra that collapsed in an acrimonious labor dispute last year, forcing the cancellation of its season? Yes. Because it’s possible to rise from the ashes with a much stronger foundation. …

Detroit’s new contract has several game-changers, but let’s focus on the big one: media. …

Being forced into a change-or-die scenario, Detroit was able to rethink this policy.   Suddenly they are webcasting every other concert.  People from around the globe can hear a slew of superb concerts for free.  “DSO Live” educates the public, increases awareness of classical music, and encourages Detroiters to scurry to Orchestra Hall.  (No one is going to pass up the glorious acoustics of a live orchestra because they saw it online—that’s where the symphony keeps an edge in the Digital Age).  And releasing live concert recordings on CD and iTunes has become far more reasonable under the new agreement.  Read the full post by Mason Bates.

It will be interesting to hear him discuss this further at our Taking About Creativity event.


  1. Rick Robinson says:

    I look forward to your converstaion with Mason Bates. Too bad we have to wait so long… but the good news that he reports about DSO is true and I’m sure significant in ways we can’t yet understand. As a DSO member It was a great pleasure to play his work The B-Sides with him performing. The orchestration was as interesting as the electronica he mixed in! The movement with the Mercury astronaut taking a space walk gave me CHILLS as the orchestration reacted to hold-your-breath moments!
    It’s composers and bloggers like Bates, who have feet firmly planted in both worlds that will build bridges. And DSO has built a very important bridge to acoustically perfect Orchestra Hall with the new agreement.

    • Beth Hondl says:

      I know – it’s a long way away, but should be an interesting discussion. Also, your comment reminded me that I should have included a link to this video as well – the DSO performance of B-Sides. It’s great! And how amazing to be able to just share a recent performance so easily…

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.