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 a richly colored, harmonic, and freshly melodic musical voice that has also been described as “emotional, compelling, and relevant,” his works, which include two operas, four symphonies, and several concertos, have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the world.
Silent Night was premiered by Minnesota Opera in November 2011, and marked his debut in the genre of opera and vocal works. Commissioned by Minnesota Opera with a libretto by Mark Campbell, the full-length opera is based on the 2005 film Joyeux Noel. Heralded as “breathtaking” and “a stunning emotional experience,” Silent Night has since been produced and performed at Opera Philadelphia, Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Wexford Opera Festival, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Calgary Opera, and Opera de Montreal, with many more productions planned in the years to come, including the San Jose Opera in 2017.
Acclaimed as “thrilling” and “not to be missed,” Puts’ second opera, an adaptation of Richard Condon’s novel The Manchurian Candidate, also commissioned by Minnesota Opera with a libretto by Mark Campbell, had its world premiere in 2015. That same year also saw the world premiere of Puts’ song cycle Of All The Moons, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and performed by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, which The New York Times called “a showcase for his craftsmanship.”
Marin Alsop has long championed Puts’ work, presenting eight of his pieces at Cabrillo Festival to date, including commissioning the world premieres of his Symphony No. 4 (2007) and Flute Concerto (2013); and presenting three West Coast premieres.
His newest orchestral work, The City, was co-commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in honor of its 100th anniversary and by Carnegie Hall in honor of its 125th anniversary; Cabrillo Festival joined in the commission in Marin Alsop’s honor. The City, accompanied by a film by James Bartolomeo, was premiered in Baltimore and New York in April 2016, and receives its West Coast premiere at Cabrillo on Saturday, August 6, during Inspiration & Impact.