Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Making a career as a contemporary classical composer is not exactly the most secure path to fame and fortune, but Mason Bates seems to know what he’s doing. A local kid who hit it big in both the classical and EDM worlds (he moonlights as a DJ under the name Masonic), Bates is a hot property, and several orchestras want to offer him a perch: He’s been named the Kennedy Center’s first ever composer-in-residence, having just finished a similar stint with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. But he seems to know where to find deeper pocketed patrons closer to his Bay Area base: His elegant, Barber-meets-Adams-meets-Daft-Punk 2011 piece Mothership, which he recently performed here, was commissioned by the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and he’s currently at work on an opera about Steve Jobs. As part of his D.C. residency, he’s been throwing (“curating”) multimedia cocktail parties dubbed “KC Jukebox,” with chamber ensembles playing music by various new-ish composers, mixed with video and other art installations. If you’re on the fence about attending, the clincher might be the free drink at the afterparty. The performance begins at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab, 2700 F St. NW. $20. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org.