Mr. Mason is currently in his thirty-second year as Professor of Violin and Head of the String Department at the University of Kentucky. He is concertmaster of and frequent soloist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also, for seventeen years, concertmaster of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. He has appeared frequently as soloist with orchestra and in recitals and chamber concerts in the United States and abroad. His activities have included live national radio broadcasts from WFMT in Chicago, frequent appearances on NPR’s Performance Today and performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Mr. Mason has given master classes and performances in countries around the world, including Korea and China, appearing as soloist with the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra and Brazil, appearing as soloist with the Espírito Santo Philharmonic Orchestra of Vittoria. Mr. Mason’s travels while performing recitals and giving master classes have also taken him to Austria, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Cambodia and the Republic of Georgia.
In summer 2001, Mason appeared in Florence, Italy with University of Kentucky faculty Leonore Quartet playing in the Galleria Accademica. In other summers, he has been a member of the faculty of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music-sponsored Opera and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy; the Kentucky Institute of International Studies program in Salzburg, Austria; the Accent Summer Program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; and the Mason – Kim International Music Festival in Korea.
An enthusiastic advocate of recent music, Mr. Mason has recorded a CD of chamber music by noted American composer Joel Hoffman released by Gasparo Records. He has performed the music of many other composers, working in consultation with them, including John Cage, David Amram, Wiliam Bolcom, Bernard Rands and Joseph Baber. In March, 1996 he played the premiere in Vienna of a solo work written for him by composer Alexander Blechinger. His performance of the work is included on a CD recently released in Vienna.
He also directs the University of Kentucky String Project, for which he received a $50,000 grant from the American String Teachers Association. For the past seven years, the Project has trained string teachers while providing affordable instruction to more than 400 area children.
Professor Mason’s students have won positions in the Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony, Tucson Symphony and others, as well as teaching positions at universities around the nation. A member of the Jascha Heifetz Master Class at the University of Southern California for three years, Mr. Mason holds degrees from the Ohio State University and the University of Southern California.