Christian Mason (*1984)
“He’s always searching for something expressive and something very personal. His attitude is similar to what Bartók was all about: not just creating nice colours but all the time trying to go deeper.” (Gergely Madaras, BBC Music Magazine)
2015 saw the premieres of “Open to Infinity: a Grain of Sand”, co-commissioned for Pierre Boulez's 90th birthday by Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms, “Layers of Love” recorded by Klangforum Wien and premiered in Japan by Tokyo Sinfonietta, and “Sympathetic Resonance”, recorded by the Orchestre National de France for broadcast on Radio France’s “Alla Breve” programme. Current commissions include “Sonorous Islands” for ensemble with audience participation co-produced by the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Asko/Schonberg and Remix Ensemble as part of the ‘Connect Project’; and a piece for the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Christian was previously a Resident-Composer at the Lucerne Festival Academy where his orchestral work “Isolarion: Rituals of Resonance” was premiered in 2013. The same year, “The Years of Light” was given its premiere as part of the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, USA. In 2014 “Unseen Seasons” was commissioned by the Shizuoka Concert Hall for the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus, while his first operatic work Reunion, part of Opera Erratica’s production “Triptych” was performed in London. His piece “Learning Self-Modulation”, for violin and piano, was performed in Paris, Fribourg, London, Amsterdam and Madrid, by Carolin Widmann and Simon Lepper, subsequently receiving a British Composer Award in 2012. Previous works have been performed by Midori, Jean-Guihen Queyras, the London Symphony and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, to name a few.
A Composer in Residence at Eton College in 2014/15, Christian previously worked as Composition Assistant to Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and continues to teach on the LSO Panufnik Young Composers Project. He read Music at the University of York before pursuing a Ph.D at King's College London with George Benjamin. Christian is the founding co-Artistic Director of the Octandre Ensemble.
In 2015, Christian Mason received the Advancement Award of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung.
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We met our composer Christian Mason for an interview (short version) at the Konzerthaus Berlin on the occasion of the world premiere of “An Ocean of Years”. He gives exciting insights into his work, new works and the genesis of “An Ocean of Years”.
With friendly permission of the Konzerthaus Berlin, produced by Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden 2022
You can find the long version of the interview here.
Writings on Mason
Whittall, Arnold: Questioning the Sound: the Music of Christian Mason, in: The Musical Times 161 (Summer 2017), S. 85-99