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Dallas Symphony premiere is inspired by Fantasia, but made for today’s kids


by Bill Zeeble 1 Oct 2021 4:18 PM

Mason Bates, famous for his Steve Jobs opera, composed the multimedia presentation, Philharmonia Fantastique.

Photo: Kim Leeson
CTA TBD

Any world premiere is rare. But this weekend, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra premieres a piece written just for children.

Philharmonia Fantastique is composed by Grammy winner Mason Bates. He worked with an Oscar-worthy team on the film that accompanies the music. Together, the multimedia presentation tells the stories of the instruments in an orchestra.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Philharmonia Fanastique. Saturday, Oct. 2 Meyerson Symphony Center.

This weekend, DSO musicians will perform the work while the film runs on a screen above them.  It’s all perfectly synchronized.

Bates won a Grammy for his opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and is known for mixing orchestral sounds with
electronics. He says that can scare some people, but not fellow musicians.

“The players – they always kind of embrace me, because they like that I respect this is an orchestral situation, it’s about the orchestra,” said Bates. “It’s not about the sound or the technology.”

Bates says he was inspired in part by Disney’s 1940 classic film Fantasia, but this mix of music and animation belongs in the 21st
century.

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