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Animating the orchestra with Mason Bates and Gonzalo Farias

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Gary Rydstrom/Jim Capobianco
"Sprite" from "Philharmonia Fantastique" slides on a violin bow.

Guest host Brian Ellison speaks with composer Mason Bates and Kansas City Symphony Associate Conductor Gonzalo Farias about performing Mason's multimedia depiction of the orchestra, "Philharmonia Fantastique." We'll also learn about their early music influences and how orchestras are embracing 21st-century technology.


Brian Ellison


Mason Bates, composer
Gonzalo Farias, Kansas City Symphony Associate Conductor

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Composer Mason Bates and conductor Gonzalo Farias


Philharmonia Fantastique - The Making of the Orchestra
Primordial Orchestra
Birth of Sprite
The Woodwinds
The Strings
The Brass
The Percussion
Finale and Rebirth of Sprite
by Mason Bates
Edwin Outwater and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Anthology of Fantastic Zoology
The Gryphon
by Mason Bates
Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Liquid Interface
III. Crescent City
by Mason Bates
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony

The Kansas City Symphony will perform music by Mason Bates January 13-15 and January 29. You can learn more at

As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at