Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for the opera Silent Night, Kevin Puts has been hailed as one of the most important composers of his generation. His work has been commissioned and performed by leading orchestra in the United States and abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestër (Zurich), the symphony orchestra of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Atlanta, Colorado, Houston, Fort Worth, Utah, St. Louis, the Boston Pops, and the Minnesota Orchestra, and by leading chamber ensembles such as the Mirò Quartet, the Eroica Trio, eighth blackbird, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Mr. Puts’ orchestra catalog includes four symphonies as well as several concertos written for some of today’s top soloists. In 2005, Mr. Puts received the honor of a commission in celebration of David Zinman’s 70th birthday, and the result was Vision, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra. During the same year, his Percussion Concerto was premiered by Evelyn Glennie with the Pacific and Utah Symphonies. He has also written concertos for marimbist Makoto Nakura, violinist Michael Shih, clarinetist Bil Jackson, a piano concerto commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and premiered in 2008 by pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane, and, most recently, a Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra for the Mirò Quartet which had its world premiere with the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra and was subsequently performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra.
Among the many critically acclaimed recordings of his works, Mr. Puts’ two a cappella choral works, If I Were a Swan and To Touch the Sky, performed and recorded by the choral group Conspirare, were released in 2013 by Harmonia Mundi, along with a performance of his Symphony No. 4 (“From Mission San Juan”) performed and recorded by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop.
His upcoming projects include two new operas, a chamber opera, and a song cycle, including a commission by the Minnesota Opera to write an adaptation of Richard Condon’s novel The Manchurian Candidate with a libretto by Mark Campbell which will receive its world premiere in spring 2015.
Mr. Puts has received awards and grants from the American Academy in Rome, the Guggenhiem Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, and ASCAP. He has served as Composer-in-Residence of Young Concert Artists, the California Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Puts received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music, his Master’s Degree from Yale University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music. Since 2006, he has been a member of the composition department at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.