Kevin Matthew Puts /pʊts/ (born January 3, 1972) is an American composer, best known for winning a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his first opera.
Puts was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Alma, Michigan.He studied composition and piano at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, earning the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Eastman School of Music. Among his teachers were Samuel Adler, Jacob Druckman, David Lang, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Martin Bresnick, and, in piano, Nelita True. He also studied at the Tanglewood Music Festival with William Bolcom and Bernard Rands.
He is composer-in-residence at the Fort Worth Symphony and has received a commission from the Aspen Music Festival. His Cello Concerto was premiered by Yo-Yo Ma. Puts's works have been performed by the St. Louis Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Utah Symphony (with Evelyn Glennie as percussion soloist), the Miró Quartet,and Concertante. He is a frequent composer in residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, which commissioned his fourth symphony and his flute concerto.
His alma mater reports:
Puts was Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Texas at Austin from 1997 to 2005 and now teaches composition at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.His notable students include Jake Runestad.
The opera Silent Night , with score by Puts and libretto by Mark Campbell, was published by Aperto Press in 2011 and premiered by the Minnesota Opera on November 12. Puts won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2012; the citation called the piece "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous ceasefire [the 1914 Christmas truce] among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart."
Samuel Osmond Barber II was an American composer, pianist, conductor, baritone, and music educator. One of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century; music critic Donal Henahan stated, "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim." Principally influenced by nine years of composition studies with Rosario Scalero at the Curtis Institute and more than twenty-five years of study with his uncle, the composer Sidney Homer, Barber's music usually eschewed the experimental trends of musical modernism in favor of utilizing traditional 19th-century harmonic language and formal structure that embraced lyricism and emotional expression. However, elements of modernism were adopted by Barber after 1940 in a limited number of his compositions, such as an increased use of dissonance and chromaticism in the Cello Concerto (1945) and Medea's Dance of Vengeance (1955), and the use of tonal ambiguity and a narrow use of serialism in his Piano Sonata (1949), Prayers of Kierkegaard (1954), and Nocturne (1959).
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