During these difficult times when most performance venues are dark, virtual performances are trying to bridge the gap in our need for culture and connection. Minnesota Opera’s wonderful chorus has done a video performance of the “Sleep Chorus” from Puts’ and Cambell’s Silent Night.
In this highly charged election season, Austin Opera performs Kevin Puts’ and Mark Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate. Originally premiered by the Minnesota Opera, the opera is part thriller, part satire, and is based on Richard Condon’s novel. Don’t miss the chance to see this second opera by the team that created the Pulitzer-winning opera, Silent Night.
The Washington Post lists contemporary operas that audiences responded to favorably (“Readers’ Guide to Lovable New Operas“), and several BHM operas were included:
Dead Man Walking
The Manchurian Candidate
There are also 10 operas on this list that we’ve engraved in our production department.
Congrats to Jake Heggie, Kevin Puts, Terrence McNally, Laura Kaminsky, Kimberly Reed, and the indefatigable Mark Campbell who wrote 3 of these librettos.
MARIN ALSOP, PEABODY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO RECORD KEVIN PUTS’ WORKS FOR NAXOS
Recording for PSO’s first major-label release begins this month.
The music of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer and Peabody Conservatory faculty artist Kevin Puts will be featured on a new recording by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop, acclaimed music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and a member of Peabody’s conducting faculty. Slated for release on the Naxos label in 2016, the disc will include Puts’ Symphony No. 2, “Island of Innocence,” and his Flute Concerto, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated principal flutist Adam Walker.
This will mark the first major-label release for the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and will be recorded and produced by the Conservatory’s own internationally renowned Recording Arts department. The project will begin this spring, during the time frame when Walker is in Baltimore to perform the East Coast premiere of the Flute Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The symphony will be recorded in the fall, and a third Puts work, River’s Rush, will complete the disc. California-based new music patrons Joe and Bette Hirsch are funding the project.
Conductor Carolyn Kuan, composer Kevin Puts, concerto commissioners Bette and Joseph Hirsch, and flutist Adam Walker.
“I am thrilled and deeply honored that – with the generous support of Joe and Bette Hirsch – Marin Alsop, Adam Walker, Peabody, and Naxos have all come together to produce an entire recording of my orchestral works,” said Puts. “I am extremely grateful to Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein for facilitating what I know will be a fantastic representation of what our talented student body can achieve.”
“Maestra Alsop has presented my Symphony No. 2 and ‘River’s Rush’ at the Cabrillo Festival, and in fact the symphony is the work that first drew her to my music,” Puts continued. “My Flute Concerto was brilliantly premiered there by Mr. Walker to thunderous ovation, and I am delighted to share it with the world through this recording.”
“This is such an exciting opportunity for our accomplished student musicians – both those performing on this recording and those engineering it,” said Fred Bronstein, dean of the Peabody Institute. “The project shines a spotlight on Peabody’s commitment to contemporary music, with composers like Kevin Puts on our faculty. And to be able to work with Maestra Alsop – a major conductor with a keen interest in the training of young musicians – on a recording of this caliber is a very special experience that will serve students well in their future careers.”
“I have championed Kevin Puts’ music for years, and I am delighted to work with the gifted young musicians in the Peabody Symphony Orchestra – and the brilliant Adam Walker – to bring this music to a wider audience,” Alsop said. “I am inspired by the level of energy and enthusiasm around this project, and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his debut opera, Silent Night, Kevin Puts has been hailed as one of the most important composers of his generation, critically acclaimed for his distinctive and richly colored musical voice. His impressive body of work for orchestra includes four symphonies and several concertos. His fifth symphony, co-commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for its 100th anniversary and Carnegie Hall for its 125th anniversary, will be premiered next year. In addition to his position on the faculty of the Peabody Institute, Puts is currently the Director of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute.
According to his program note for the work, Puts’ Symphony No. 2 makes reference to the sudden paradigmatic shift that followed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in America. Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University, it was premiered in 2002 by the Cincinnati Symphony conducted by Paavo Jarvi.
Puts’ Flute Concerto was commissioned by Joe and Bette Hirsch and premiered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2013, with Carolyn Kuan conducting the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Alsop, the festival’s music director, invited Walker to perform the premiere.
“The Flute Concerto is a wonderful piece, which we cannot wait for music-lovers everywhere to hear and love as we do,” said Joe Hirsch.
“Joe and I feel such a special connection to the Flute Concerto,” added Bette Hirsch. “Through this recording project, we are both very happy to be able to share with others our enthusiasm for this compelling contemporary music.”
Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, becoming the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Also music director of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and on the conducting faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, Alsop is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and audience development. She is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, and has guest- conducted many of the world’s great orchestras.
In 2009 at the age of 21, Adam Walker was appointed principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra and received the Outstanding Young Artist Award at MIDEM Classique in Cannes. In 2010 he won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Outstanding Young Artist Award. Walker has performed as soloist with leading ensembles including the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTÉ National Symphony, Seattle Symphony and the Seoul Philharmonic.
Kevin Puts’ and Mark Campbell’s opera on The Manchurian Candidate will premiere at Minnesota Opera this March. Based on the novel by Richard Condon (which was subsequently made into two film versions) the opera is the second for Puts and Campbell, whose first opera Silent Night won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and has gone on to a successful life in repeat productions by several companies in the U.S. and Europe. For additional information and some sneak preview audio clips, please click here.
View some of the sing-through:
Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell discuss the evolution of the opera:
Carnegie Hall celebrates its 125th anniversary by honoring the present and looking to the future with the launch of an unprecedented commissioning project. Between the 2015 and 2020 seasons, at least 125 new works will be commissioned from leading composers—both established and emerging—and premiered at Carnegie Hall. New solo, chamber, and orchestral music, including BHM composer Kevin Puts, who will write a new work for the Baltimore Symphony.
Wexford Festival Opera will present the European premiere of Kevin Puts’ and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, about the spontaneous Christmas truce between enemy combatants during the First World War. More details online at http://www.wexfordopera.com
Believing that the creation of art should mark every special occasion, OPERA America commissioned the OPERA America Songbook in celebration of the opening of the National Opera Center in September 2012. Composers with strong ties to the organization were invited to write a song for voice and piano on the theme of opening a new home, the joy of singing or the excitement of new beginnings. This collection of songs represents the distinctive voices of some of today’s most important established and emerging opera composers. Produced by OPERA America, the Songbook was recorded, edited and mastered at Gurari Studios in New York City in the summer of 2012.
Purchase recordings from ITunes.
Purchase sheet music from Hal Leonard.
The world-renowned Miró Quartet and The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra present a program featuring the world premiere of How Wild the Sea, written for string quartet and chamber orchestra by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. Puts, a former Butler School of Music faculty member and long-time colleague of the Miró Quartet, composed the work as part of a year-long celebration of the centennial of The University of Texas School of Music which begins with this December 2013 concert.
Commissioned by a consortium of orchestras, How Wild the Sea, moves on to Naples Philharmonic for performances the week of February 4, 2014, followed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra March 31, City Music Cleveland, October 2014, and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in the 2014-15 season.