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Upcoming Performance

September 9, 2011
Harrisburg, PA

Kevin Puts

Mr. Puts's new work was commissioned for the 2008-2009 season as part of Concertante's One Plus Five Project, and was performed on Thursday, May 14, 2008 at the Fourier Hall at College of Notre Dame (Baltimore, MD), on Friday March 15, 2008 at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center (Harrisburg, PA) and on Monday, March 18, 2008 at Merkin Hall (New York City).

Kevin Puts

Hailed by the press as "one of the best young composers in America", Kevin Puts has had works commissioned and performed by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. Known for his distinctive and richly colored musical voice, Mr. Puts has received many of today’s most prestigious honors and awards for composition.

In April 2008, Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra gave the premiere of a piano concerto commissioned through the LACO’s Sound Investment program. Earlier in the season the Miró Quartet premiered Credo, commissioned by Chamber Music Monterey Bay; and the Eroica Trio premiered a new work, commissioned by Music Accord, at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (IL). Other orchestral performances this past season included Symphony No. 1 by the Houston Symphony; Vespertine Elegy by Marin Alsop and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich; and the premiere of a new work for horn and orchestra by the Mobile Symphony, where Mr. Puts holds a Music Alive residency.

Mr. Puts, the Composer-in-Residence for the Fort Worth Symphony, was also selected as the 2007 American Composer-in-Residence for the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, where his Two Mountain Scenes was premiered by the New York Philharmonic.

The first undergraduate to be awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Mr. Puts’ honors include the 2003 Benjamin H. Danks Award for Excellence in Orchestral Composition of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2001 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and a 2001-2002 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, among others.

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. Mr. Puts was Young Concert Artists Composer-in-Residence from 1996-1998, and is still a member of YCA’s management roster.

Notes to Arcana

Each night on the Hawaiian island of Maui, the immense volcano Haleakala sleeps soundly by the light of moon until around three AM when several dozen tourists create an unbroken parade of headlights along the long and winding drive to the summit. The sunrise as witnessed from here was described by Mark Twain as one of the “sublimest spectacles” of his life, and what it reveals is equally remarkable.

In absolute silence above the cloud layer below, a Martian terrain of red dust and oddly-placed meteoric-looking rock plays host to a number of arcane sights: the ‘ahinahina (silversword) plant must have been even more alien to the ancient Hawaiians who presumably had nothing else silver in their lives. It lives for 50 years and only flowers once, then dies. Exotic birds such as petrels, honeycreepers, and the rare nene (Hawaiian goose) squawk about. At the bottom of the enormous crater, giant cinder cones rise up like something out of the old Star Trek episodes. But as the eye continues along to the east towards the town of Hana, the austerity of dust and hardened lava gives way to a scene of almost impossible beauty, a tumbling waterfall of clouds pouring endlessly over the crater’s rim and dissolving into thin air.

Arcana was commissioned by the string sextet Concertante as a feature for Alexis Pia Gerlach, one of the group’s cellists.


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