Dallas-based composer Quinn Mason had been named the inaugural Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence, a new program launched by KMFA 89.5, Austin’s independent classical music radio station.
Mason will spend the week of February 21-25 in residence with KMFA in Austin. Following his week of creative exploration, Mason will compose three new works: one for piano, one for ensemble, and one for choir. Each piece will be recorded at different times by select performers in KMFA’s Draylen Mason Music Studio.
The 135-seat acoustically perfect venue is named for the 17-year-old musician who was a victim of the Austin package bombings in 2018. A talented bassist, Draylen Mason (no relation to Quinn Mason) had been admitted to several top notch university music programs at the time of his death.
The Composer-in-Residence program was inspired by the national call for greater diversity in classical music.
“KMFA strives to bring our listeners a diverse range of music, including works by the underrepresented, including women and composers of color,” explains KMFA Ddirector of Broadcasting & Content Anthony McSpadden, who conceived of the program.
“Now that we have a world-class performance space and state-of-the-art recording capabilities, we’re excited to turn our attention to the creation of new music from composers of color, like Quinn, and we’ll share the fruits of these efforts with other classical broadcasters around the country in hopes that they be able to add to the existing works already in their libraries.”
Still in his 20s, Quinn Mason has twice been commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and has received commission from the San Francisco Symphony and Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others.
“I’m extremely honored to serve as KMFA’s inaugural Draylen Mason Composer in Residence,” said Quinn Mason. “It is in this position that I hope I can bring my personal musical voice to a wider audience with music that has meaning to me and will hopefully have meaning to a variety of listeners. I’m especially looking forward to creating new compositions just for this residency, in collaboration with world class artists.”
Performances of Mason’s new commissioned works will be premiered over several months with three live concerts at KMFA beginning this May. These performances will be recorded and distributed to classical radio stations around the country for incorporation into their playlists following the world premieres.
More details on the compositions and upcoming performances will be announced at a later date.