Mason Bates, the Kennedy Center’s composer-in-residence, was the focus of the second concert in the National Symphony Orchestra’s new “Declassified” series. (Kate Warren/For The Washington Post)

It’s rare for an orchestra to devote a whole performance to works by a single composer — even rarer for that composer to be living, and onstage. Mason Bates, the Kennedy Center’s composer-in-residence, was the focus of the second concert in the National Symphony Orchestra’s new “Declassified” series, which offers a shorter, late-night performance of music that specifically, earnestly and even a little desperately targets a younger generation. Don’t get me wrong: It’s a laudable goal, and the execution this time was a lot better than that of its last foray, the unfortunate Ben Folds concert. But it still didn’t quite connect.

Bates’s music is certainly engaging. There is more to it than its electronic underpinnings, too, although you might not have known that from listening Friday night. The first piece, “The Rise of Exotic Computing” (2013), was an aurally intriguing progression from delicate music overlaid with a kind of quiet electronic crackle to full-on driving rhythms. The second, the violin concerto — with its formidable solo part performed by Anne Akiko Meyers — was superficially impressive but repetitive, relying so heavily on a single brief motif that kept hammering through all three movements that it grew wearying, for all of Meyers’s commitment to the score. The third, “The B-Sides,” was perhaps the most solid, but it so showcased the same driving electronic rhythms that it began to seem like further elaborations on the same theme — or vice versa, because this was the oldest work (2009) on the program.

I’m not sure that Hugh Wolff was the best conductor for this kind of program: He kept a tight rein on everything but didn’t offer a particularly sympathetic or varied interpretation. Bates was the most prominent soloist, drumming on his beatpad with a commitment the orchestra couldn’t quite match.

The audience — heavily populated with younger listeners, a very nice thing to see — seemed enthusiastic, but only briefly so: The loud applause died away quickly, and people streamed out without lingering too long, at least while I was there, in front of the DJ performing on the stage outside the concert hall in the lobby.

The next “Declassified” program, with Storm Large, is on April 29.