Opera News

Opera Philadelphia's 2017-18 Season, Kicking Off Inaugural O17 Festival, to Feature Three World Premieres, Including Kevin Puts's Elizabeth Cree
February 26, 2017

The company will also present the world premiere of a chamber opera based on Peter Ackroyd’s The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, which will feature the creative team behind the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night: Composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell’s new opera, Elizabeth Cree, will be set in London in the 1880s as the titular heroine is put on trial for the poisoning her husband. Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack will sing the title role, while baritone Troy Cook will sing Elizabeth’s husband John; tenor Joseph Gaines will sing the music hall star Dan Leno. David Schweizer will direct the production, and Opera Philadelphia’s music director Corrado Rovaris will conduct. 
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Opera Today

It is difficult to know where to begin to praise the stunning achievement of Opera San Jose’s West Coast premiere of Silent Night.
By James Sohre, February 17, 2017

"Silent Night just may prove to be the first enduring operatic masterpiece of the century."
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For All Events

Silent Night - an Opera
By Victor Cordell, February 14, 2017

"Though the opera premiered in 2011 (and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012), Composer Kevin Puts has created a stirring musical score that is a throwback to more mellifluous times. True, there are strong dissonances throughout reflecting the chaos of battle, and excellent use of musical onomatopoeia in representing the sounds of munitions. However, to distinguish scenes of the different armies – French, British (specifically, Scots), and German – Puts adapts from musical idioms of those countries."
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Opera San Jose's Silent Night
By Michael J. Vaughn, February 13, 2017

"Working from the 2005 French film Joyeux Noel, librettist Mark Campbell and and composer Kevin Puts did a masterful job of distilling those stories into three squadrons – Scots, French and German – and creating a moving, personal account of that astounding night...
Puts’ setting is fully natural, and allows the opening for Sprink to step bravely onto the battlefield and propose a Christmas peace..."
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The Mercury News

Opera San Jose's Silent Night
By Georgia Rowe, February 12, 2017

"Puts’ well-crafted score, with an excellent libretto by Mark Campbell, draws the audience into the action, and a strong cast, effective staging by director Michael Shell and a shapely orchestral performance led by conductor Joseph Marcheso made Saturday’s performance an engrossing experience."
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San Francisco Chronicle

Peace during wartime in SJ Opera’s ‘Silent Night’
By Joshua Kosman, February 12, 2017

Review of the West Coast premiere of "Silent Night" at Opera San Jose.
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Composer Kevin Puts on 9/11, the "Tragedy" of Trump, and Beethoven Envy
By Kyle Harris, January 27, 2017

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The Austin Chronicle

Robert Faires' Top 10 Classical Music / Dance Treasures of 2016
By Robert Faires, December 30, 2016

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (Austin Opera) The gamble of mounting a new opera based on a tale of Cold War paranoia paid off richly when this thriller proved gripping from the first note. Every element, every moment worked – Kevin Puts' moody score; Richard Buckley's intense conducting; Alison Moritz's taut staging; Greg Emetaz's projections; all the performers – heightening the tension 'til my shoulders were hunched around my ears.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

Rebecca Siler's 'brilliant' soprano voice graces Chamber Music Society concert
By Matthew Westphal, December 18, 2016

"Puts' music isn't grim or grief-stricken, it's clear-eyed and resolute."
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What's New Puts And Danielpour Preview
By John Clare, November 22, 2016

Interview with John Clare of WBAA Classical
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Berkshire Fine Arts

Eastman Philharmonia at Alice Tully Hall
Renée Fleming Sings Kevin Puts
By Susan Hall, November 16, 2016

"Puts...take[s] us inside O’Keeffe’s heart and soul... and goes to the depths of the volcano, before the roaring hot lava of his notes erupt."
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Superconductor Classical Opera

Concert Review: An Unexpected Party
Renée Fleming premieres Letters from Georgia by Kevin Puts.
By Paul J. Pelkonen, November 15, 2016

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Kevin Puts: Letters from Georgia
Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Eastman Philharmonia, Neil Varon (Conductor)
By Harry Rolnick, November 14, 2016

"[Kevin Puts] is a lyrical composer who has an unfailing way of offering an emotional utterly precise in his composition."
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Detroit Free Press

'Silent Night': An opera of war and surprising peace comes to Detroit
By Mark Stryker, November 9, 2016

"Few operas of recent vintage have entered the repertory as swiftly as 'Silent Night'."
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BWW Review: War Is Hell but the Puts-Campbell SILENT NIGHT Is a Wonder in Atlanta
By Richard Sasanow, November 9, 2016

"A modern classic"
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Review: The Atlanta Opera brings grit and realism to its ambitious WWI drama “Silent Night”
By Mark Gresham, November 8, 2016

"Puts’ score uses dissonance and consonance as metaphors for war and peace. His necessarily eclectic music ranges from the warmly luscious, to the emotionally churning, to movingly simple at pivotal moments where it hangs poignantly in air..."
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review: Atlanta Opera’s ‘Silent Night’ captures humanity during WWI truce
By Andrew Alexander, November 7, 2016

"Kevin Puts’ score creates a rich sound world, masterfully weaving in the sounds of national anthems, gunfire, drinking songs, exploding shells and Scottish bagpipes to evoke the chaotic and varied soundscape of World War I. His use of the full symphony is always emotionally legible, often lushly melodic and cinematic..."
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Follow Kellow

Georgia on His Mind
By Brian Kellow, October 14, 2016

Interview with Brian Kellow (
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Heroes & Villains: Orlando Philharmonic plays Stravinsky and Puts
By Esteban Meneses, June 28, 2016

"With Legions, Puts, recipient of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music, shows a strong sense of forward motion and direction – he know where he’s going and how to get there, and he gets there."
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Star Tribune

Works by Puts, Nielsen, Brahms make for rewarding Minnesota Orchestra program
By Michael Anthony, May 31, 2016

"Puts’ imaginative and deftly orchestrated “Two Mountain Scenes,” ... The first movement begins with a quartet of trumpets combining to create the illusion of a single trumpet reverberating across a valley. The lower strings respond with a dark, brooding theme that unwinds more fully each time it appears. The second movement evokes a mountain storm. It ends with subtle percussion and a melancholy passage in the strings suggesting both grandeur and menace..."
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The New York Times

A Mahler Mini-Festival in New York
By James R. Oestreich, April 17, 2016

"Mr. Puts’s music was captivating from the start... It was a powerful statement, and the audience responded loudly, presumably recognizing the universality of the situation in contemporary America. Such raw and immediate social relevance is uncommon and important in classical music today, and it made even a Mahler symphony — something raw and searing in its own right — seem almost peripheral, a rare feat."
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The Baltimore Sun

[Classical Review] Baltimore Symphony premieres musically, visually intriguing 'City'
By Tim Smith, April 15, 2016

"... the Pulitzer Prize-winning Puts, who teaches at the Peabody Institute, never disappoints in terms of orchestral coloring, and he revels in prismatic possibilities here. There's also a terrific rhythmic tension to the piece, right from the cool opening barrage of drumming, brilliantly evocative of urban energy, yet tinged with something more unsettled."
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The Baltimore Sun

Baltimoreans use photos, music, other outlets to make sense of Freddie Gray's death, ensuing unrest
By Mary Carole McCauley and Wesley Case, April 15, 2016

"My work on the piece intensified after the unrest of April 2015, when protestors took to the streets in reaction to the death of Freddie Gray, an African American resident of Baltimore who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody. After this incident, I aspired to transcend mere illustration and compose a work with the potential to heal, as well."
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The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore in deep focus with 'The City,' a multimedia work to be premiered by the BSO
By Tim Smith, April 9, 2016

"Puts describes the opening portion of his score as having "a raw, primal" quality, with "a lot of drums and primordial-sounding melodies in the woodwinds." Out of this, an anthem-like idea eventually emerges in the strings.
"The anthem is deconstructed and rebuilt in a more ambiguous way," Puts says. "Then everything just stops and there's a sustained tone passed around the sections of the orchestra for a minute or so.""
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Press Release

Kevin Puts’ new work The City to receive world premiere performances in DC Area, Baltimore and Carnegie Hall, April 14-16

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Naples Daily News

Review: Naples Philharmonic plays new commission, old classic
By Harriet Howard Heithaus, December 11, 2015

"Kevin Puts' 16-minute juxtaposition of the ocean's anger and the determination of humanity to survive was evoked by a devastating scene from the 2011 Tōhoku tsunami. Its first half is an unnerving roiling of power — waves of timpani-punctuated sound — and anxiety."
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Atlanta Daily World

Congressman John Lewis announces $6.4 million in grants to 5th District
By Atlanta Daily World report, December 11, 2015

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Grant Recipient: Atlanta Opera
Details: To support a new production of “Silent Night” by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell. Based on the film “Joyeux Noel” by Christian Carion, and winner of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. A co-production with Wexford Festival Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, as many as four Atlanta performances will occur at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in the fall of 2016.
Amount: $ 25,000
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The Washington Post

The readers’ guide to lovable new opera
By Anne Midgette, August 16, 2015

Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell (2011)
The Manchurian Candidate by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell (2015)
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The New York Times

Music in Review: Performance by Sasha Cooke
By Zachary Woolfe, March 16, 2015

"Kevin Puts’s 'Of All the Moons'... — to poems by Marie Howe filled with imagery of wind, water and moonlight — was a showcase for his craftsmanship."
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Opera News

Sasha Cooke & Julius Drake
By Judith Malafronte, March 12, 2015

"Commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Puts’s song cycle, Of All the Moons, revealed the talented American composer living up to the prestige of the Pulitzer Prize he was awarded in 2012 for the opera Silent Night."
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Star Tribune

Pulitzer winner Kevin Puts returns to Minnesota Opera with high expectations
By Graydon Royce, February 28, 2015

"Kevin Puts won a Pulitzer for his first work for Minnesota Opera. Word on the street is “The Manchurian Candidate” is even better."
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Calgary Herald

Review: Calgary Opera presents powerful First World War drama in Silent Night
By Kenneth DeLong, Calgary Herald, November 9, 2014

"It is exactly these elements that one encounters in Silent Night, the much-admired new opera by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell that opened Calgary Opera’s new season Saturday night. Mounted throughout The United States and in Europe, the opera is receiving its Canadian première in Calgary"
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RTÉ Television

The programme visits the Wexford opera festival, October 24, 2014
Watch the video


The Irish Times

‘Optimism in the face of brutality’: a great opera about the Great War
By Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, October 21, 2014

The Wexford-bound Silent Night explores the horror of war through the prism of the unofficial Christmas Eve truce of 1914. Its composer and librettist talk about the making of a Pulitzer Prize winner
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RTÉ Radio 1

Interview with RTÉ Radio Ireland about the upcoming European premiere of Silent Night
Arena (Daily arts and popular culture show), October 6, 2014

Listen to the interview


Trib Total Media

Review: Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble opens season with energy
By Mark Kanny, Trib Total Media, July 13, 2014

"“Living Frescoes,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, began the program. It was one of four pieces commissioned for a project called “The Arc of Life,” inspired by Bill Viola's art installation “Going Forth By Day,” a phrase taken from the Egyptian Book of the Dead..."
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Opera's 'Silent Night' breathtaking tale of war, people
By Janelle Gelfand,,, July 11, 2014

"It is the first opera by the gifted American composer. One could only marvel at Puts' multi-layered orchestral score, which turned on a dime from battle scenes – a cacophony of dissonances, edgy intervals and machine gun sounds – to moments of serene, lyrical beauty."
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City Beat

Singers Revive Roles for Cincinnati Opera’s ‘Silent Night’
By Anne Arenstein, City Beat, July 9, 2014

"Craig Irvin, Andrew Wilkowske and Gabriel Preisser are enjoying a career arc that any opera singer would kill for. All three performed in the world premiere of Silent Night, an opera that garnered rave reviews, a Pulitzer Prize, a PBS broadcast and subsequent productions, including this weekend’s from the Cincinnati Opera, in which the singers reprise their original roles..."
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The Plain Dealer

ChamberFest Cleveland 2014 gets off to impassioned, celebratory start (review)
By Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer, June 23, 2014

"...Kevin Puts' "And Legions Will Rise," as performed by violinist David Bowlin, percussionist Scott Christian, and Cohen. A 2001 trio for violin, clarinet and marimba, the work both stood out sonically and held the ears of its beholders.
It also affected the mind. A minimalist-style tribute to the unquenchable human spirit, "Legions" carried listeners from adversity to triumph in hypnotic fashion, ferrying them along on blazing, athletic performances."
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The New York Times

Back From the Brink, Minnesota Orchestra Announces New Season
By Allan Kozinn, June 13, 2014

"The season will also include the return of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute in January. Kevin Puts, who won the Pulitzer Prize for composition in 2012, was appointed this week as the director of the institute."
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Star Tribune

Minnesota Orchestra plays Kevin Puts symphony, then Mahler
By Michael Anthony, June 13, 2014

"Even before the announcement on Wednesday that Kevin Puts would be the new director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute, the 42-year-old composer had made an impact on musical life in the Twin Cities... Puts writes music of singular beauty and depth. He often is inspired by a visual image..."
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Pioneer Press

Minnesota Orchestra review: Associate conductor Lewis graduates with honors
By Rob Hubbard, June 12, 2014

"I've been impressed with Puts' richly textured, complex and emotionally evocative orchestrations for a few years now, most memorably during Minnesota Opera's premiere of "Silent Night" (which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize). His Fourth Symphony is inspired by the almost-lost music of an ancient indigenous tribe in California. After a spare, sorrowful opening, it becomes a playful folk dance that's eventually overpowered by a march-like hymn. But the traditional feel survives, the woodwinds starting a "Healing Song" that emanates outward and becomes an almost cinematic epic of majesty and loss."
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D Magazine

Strong Silent Night Has Potential to be Holiday Staple
By Wayne Lee Gay, May 8, 2014

"The opera itself seems a likely candidate for the permanent repertoire. Or to take that even further, perhaps a thoughtful community could make Silent Night a regular Christmas season production and antidote to the banal commercialization of the holiday season."
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The Dallas Morning News

Review: Humanity in the midst of war, at FW Opera Festival
By Scott Cantrell, May 5, 2014

"...Premiered three years ago by Minnesota Opera and winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Kevin Puts’ opera packs an emotional wallop in music both immediately engaging and sophisticated in ways and means."
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Theater Jones

Kevin Puts' breathtaking opera Silent Night has its regional premiere at the strongest Fort Worth Opera festival in memory
By Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, May 5, 2014

"...As an opera, Silent Night has it all—excellently drawn characters, touching and true personal interactions, gorgeous music and taut drama. Originally produced by the Minnesota Opera a few years ago, the score won Puts a Pulitzer Prize. His music is written in a lush, neo-romantic style, seasoned with some minimalism and spiky dissonances exactly when needed. Most importantly, it is a stunning and emotional experience to watch above and beyond its considerable musical beauty."
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Fort Worth Opera Saves the Best For Last in “Silent Night”
By David Weuste, May 4, 2014

"Kevin Puts’s score was both highly cinematic, and extremely versatile. Puts has the orchestra switching stylistic gears between each of the represented countries with ease, combining sweeping emotive lines with light folk music from each culture. The greatly enjoyable score ranged from rousing choruses and highly melodic arias, to points where the soloists simply hold a line and let the orchestra do the brunt of the work, to folk music, bagpipes and a haunting harmonica ending. The vocal demands are at times more Verdian than typical modern arias, and are one of the many reasons why Silent Night could be programmed between any opera in the canon and stand up on its own..."
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Star Tribune

Classical: Pulitzer winner Kevin Puts brings new work to SPCO
By Graydon Royce, March 28, 2014

Kevin Puts is still in search of the perfect composition. His newest work pairs the Miró Quartet and the SPCO.
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Arizona Daily Star

Review: Oboist steals the spotlight at chamber fest
By Cathalena E. Burch, March 20, 2014

"Puts' concerto is filled with sweeping cinematic flourishes."
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Opera News

[CD Review]
PUTS: To Touch the Sky; If I Were a Swan; Symphony No.4, From Mission San Juan
January 2014

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

'Silent Night' tells the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914
By Sarah Bryan Miller, December 21, 2013

"Puts’ musical voice, which has grown impressively since his “River’s Rush” for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 2004 opening night, is appropriate for each scene, ranging from the tender and lovely to the atonal for battle scenes. Puts deserved the 2012 Pulitzer Prize he won for the score."
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New Music Box

All Venues Great and Small
By Andrew Sigler, December 16, 2013

"Puts is not only a fantastic composer but also a superior orchestrator, and his use of color (in the winds in particular) and natural sense of balance among the instrumental choirs (much less between the quartet and the orchestra!) was uncanny."
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Austin American-Statesman

Miró Quartet premieres new music by Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts
By Luke Quinton, December 2, 2013

"“How Wild the Sea” came together when the composer saw an image from Japan’s catastrophic 2011 tsunami. “It was this man, an old man, floating on the roof of his house — which was floating in the waters,” Puts says. “They said that his wife had drowned some ways back.” Puts translates this devastation into a musical work that is part elegy and part virtuosic swirls of musical waves."
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The Austin Chronicle

'How Wild the Sea'
Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts brings waves into the concert hall with new symphonic work
By Robert Faire, November 12, 2013

"The composer's empathy for that isolated human figure, his life crushed by this devastating force of nature, became the impetus for a new work for string quartet and chamber orchestra titled How Wild the Sea."
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The New York Times

‘Silent Night,’ Pulitzer Winner, to Air on PBS
By Allan Kozinn, November 12, 2013

"“Silent Night,” the opera by Kevin Puts that won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2012, will have its television premiere on Dec. 13, when PBS broadcasts a performance by the Minnesota Opera, recorded during the work’s world-premiere run in 2011."
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The New York Times

Tenors Amid the Turmoil of War in the Trenches
‘Silent Night,’ by Kevin Puts at Opera Philadelphia
By Anthony Tommasini, February 11, 2013

"You can be a brilliant composer with a strong musical voice yet not be suited to opera, an enticing but unwieldy genre. It usually takes someone a few tries to write an effective work. This makes the success that the American composer Kevin Puts, 41, has had with “Silent Night” all the more remarkable. Based on the 2005 French film “Joyeux Noël,” “Silent Night,” Mr. Puts’s first opera, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, played a sold-out premiere run in 2011 at the Minnesota Opera. It went on to win the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for music."
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Opera News

A Gift of Song
February 2013 — Vol. 77, No. 8

BRIAN KELLOW chats with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, who this month curates a program of song for New York Festival of Song's "NYFOS Next" series.
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The New York Times

NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG “An Evening with Kevin Puts”
By Anthony Tommasini, February 6, 2013

"Mr. Puts’s NYFOS Next program on Tuesday, “Kevin Puts & Friends,” drew a nearly full house to the center’s intimate Jerome Robbins Theater. In greeting the audience Mr. Puts said that he had grabbed this chance to fill a gap in his knowledge and highlight the fine work of colleagues."
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New York Festival of Song Next: Kevin Puts and Friends at BAC
February 12, 2013

"The night ended with Puts accompanying Blumberg and Tappan in selections from his Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night (libretto by Mark Cambpell), which recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French, and German soldiers during the final Christmas of World War I."
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Opera about truce is a clear victory
By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic, February 12, 2013

"Act II is cut from similar cloth but, with a more spare, expansive manner, dispenses with scene painting and uses atonality to convey the weary directionlessness of soldiers realizing the war has become a voracious, pointless black hole. Here, where the film loses its pace, the opera kicks into high gear as Puts harnesses the insinuative possibilities of music."
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The Washington Post

The other East Coast opera: Philly offers “Silent Night”
By Anne Midgette, February 10, 2013

"“Silent Night” is the first opera by the composer Kevin Puts, who’s established himself as a contemporary tonalist, writing a kind of 21st century romanaticism in muscular pieces that don’t sound derivative. Sticking to what’s become a template for new American operas, he and the librettist Mark Campbell (the go-to librettist these days; when I wrote about him two years ago he had four new works coming out, and according to his bio he’s currently working on six more) based their work on a movie -- a poignant war movie, no less. “Joyeux Noël,” made in 2005, tells the true story of the Christmas cease-fire in the trenches during World War I, during which soldiers stopped shooting, allowed each other to bury their dead unharmed, and shared Christmas treats -- the latter enhanced, in the opera, by an aria from a passing soprano."
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Opera Philadelphia's Silent Night a resounding showcase
By Gale Martin, February 10, 2013

"A work crucial to the development and appreciation of opera as a relevant modern art form premièred on the East Coast to well-deserved acclaim at a legendary Philadelphia venue. From the first note out of the pit orchestra to the final strains of the last act, Silent Night, presented by Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music, was a tour de force – from conception to execution."
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'Silent Night': A World War I moment of peace
By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic, February 5, 2013

"Based on the 2005 French film Joyeux Noel, Silent Night was headed for the Academy of Music even before its Pulitzer, though Puts, 41, was hardly a proven operatic commodity. Though remarkably successful at an early age (he wrote four symphonies between 1999 and 2007), Puts was offered Silent Night by Minnesota Opera artistic director Dale Johnson, who thought his big-orchestra sensibility would be good for a piece with three armies."
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Culture Map Austin

CONSPIRARE premieres “To Touch the Sky” and “If I Were a Swan”
By Joelle Zigman, October 29, 2012

" “If I Were a Swan” is an inspired setting of the poem by the same name by Felda Brown, Kevin Puts’s aunt. Using tasteful word-painting, including a really cool repeating minimal motor, which sounded way more like electronically manipulating glitching than live vocals and an inspired setting of the words “and I would be exactly where I am,” that repeat like the chorus of a pop song. I would love to hear this piece again.
To Touch the Sky is a larger song cycle inspired by a suggestion from Craig Hella Johnson to explore the idea of the “divine feminine,” which Kevin Puts took to heart using texts by only female poets for the cycle, with help from his aunt Felda Brown. The standout movement was movement five, in the middle, a setting of Emily Bronte’s “At Castle Wood.” Much like “If I Were a Swan,” I would love to hear that movement again."
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Peninsula Reviews

CHAMBER MUSIC MONTEREY BAY: Trio Solisti with Jon Manasse premier “Living Frescoes”
By Lyn Bronson, October 13, 2012

"Puts has written a score that matches and compliments these images. He has created moments of great beauty and serenity, alternating with moments of violence and confusion — often linked to moments of ominous anticipation of events about to happen. His writing for piano is spectacular, and the exciting sounds he created for pianist Klibonoff never drew attention to itself unnecessarily but always seemed inevitable in the way it blended with the textures created by the strings and the clarinet. The writing for strings was at times brilliantly idiomatic and often sensuous in a late nineteenth century, early twentieth century French manner (so much so that at the end of the program when we heard the Chausson Trio, we felt quite at home).
The audience responded with a rousing standing ovation, and the musicians called Mr. Puts to the stage where he received the accolades he so richly deserved."
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CONSPIRARE premieres “To Touch the Sky” and “If I Were a Swan”
By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, September 24, 2012

"Commissioned especially for Conspirare by American Composers Forum, "To Touch the Sky" is an a cappella piece set to texts by female poets, writers and mystics across the centuries. Among the texts Puts used are quotes from Mother Teresa, a poem by contemporary writer Maria Howe, a line from the writings of Sappho of ancient Greece and a poem by Emily Brontë."
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ATX Classical

CONSPIRARE premieres “To Touch the Sky” and “If I Were a Swan”
By Marc, September 17, 2012

"To Touch the Sky is a work for unaccompanied chorus, based on nine texts by women, ranging from Mother Teresa to Hildegard of Bingen to Emily Brontë."
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The Baltimore Sun

The engaging voice of composer Kevin Puts
By Tim Smith, June 2, 2012

"Long before the Pulitzer buzz about Puts, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop chose one of his pieces for this week's final program of the season. It marks the third time in a decade that the BSO has featured the composer, whose expertly crafted music speaks in a compelling, natural voice.
Audiences here will get the biggest dose yet of Puts — his Symphony No. 4. This 25-minute score won a 10-minute ovation when it premiered in 2007 at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, Calif., conducted by Alsop, the festival's music director for 20 years."
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Kevin Puts Wins Music Pulitzer For World War I Opera 'Silent Night'
By Tom Huizenga, April 16, 2012

"New York-based composer and Peabody Institute faculty member Kevin Puts has won the Pulitizer Prize for music with Silent Night, his first opera. The work received its world premiere in November in at Minnesota Opera in St. Paul.
Pulitzer officials described Silent Night as "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart.""
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New Music Box

Kevin Puts Wins 2012 Pulitzer Prize
By Frank J. Oteri, April 16, 2012

"Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts has been awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis on November 12, 2011, and featuring a libretto by Mark Campbell, the self-published Silent Night was described by the jury as “a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart.” The prize is for a “distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States” during the previous calendar year and comes with a cash award of ten thousand dollars."
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Opera News

Review: "Silent Night"
By Larry Fuchsberg, February 2012 — Vol. 76, No. 8

"The opening night ovation for Silent Night was long and clamorous, the loudest acclaim fittingly reserved for composer Kevin Puts. [It]is Puts first opera and one senses that he's found his metier. (Occasionally, one has the sensation of looking over the composer's shoulder as he discovers the power of his medium.) He's a master polystylist, able to weld together heterogeneous musical materials that range from a pseudo-eighteenth-century-opera-within-the opera to jarring atonality. He writes impressively complex polyphony when it's called for, but is more affecting when his music turns spare and reflective. His timing is unerring. With this remarkable debut, Puts assumes a central place in the American opera firmament. Much will be expected from him."
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Minnesota Star-Tribune

Opera evokes grim beauty in break in the battle
By Larry Fuchsberg, November 14, 2011

"Grimly beautiful, the piece is a significant addition to the repertoire and heralds the emergence of composer Kevin Puts as a force in American opera…Librettist Mark Campbell's text is terse and cogent; he knows how to convey the essentials and leave the heavy lifting to the composer. Puts seldom relaxes his grip on the listener. There is no emotion his writing cannot conjure. In the course of two hours he integrates an astonishing range of forms and styles. At its best, as in the heartfelt choral lullaby of Act 1 or the shattering funeral march of Act 2, his music is as powerful as any being written today. "Silent Night" is, improbably, Puts' first opera; it shouldn't be his last."
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Review: Silent Night derives a universal harmony from our shared humanity
November 13, 2011

"What really imbues fervor to the production, though, is a landmark score from composer Kevin Puts. Already a widely celebrated talent in the classical world, Silent Night marks Puts’ debut opera. As such, Puts couldn’t make a more stunning first impression, launching into the opening of Act 1 with a wildly spiraling panorama of sound that culminates in an explosive climax. In the aftermath, as fraught silence descends on the battlefield, Puts settles into a suspenseful adagio capable of transitioning swiftly to lavishly layered melodies. Through it all, conductor Michael Christie leads the Minnesota Opera Orchestra with characteristic deftness."
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Opera News

A Leap of Faith
November 2011 — Vol. 76, No. 5

Minnesota Opera took a chance on composer Kevin Puts, whose first opera, Silent Night, has its world premiere in St. Paul this month. MICHAEL SLADE reports. Read the full article


The Topeka Capital-Journal

Sunflower includes recent work
The Miro Quartet plays two-year-old ‘Credo’ at Thursday night’s concert
By Bill Blankenship, June 10, 2009

"Scott Cantrell, former classical music critic for The Kansas City Star who is now working for The Dallas Morning News, recently reviewed the Miro Quartet playing “Credo,” writing: “It’s not often that a brand-new piece of music — 19 minutes’ worth, no less — hits you right in the solar plexus. But that’s how it was Monday evening with Kevin Puts’ two-year-old string quartet ‘Credo.’ After a riveting performance by the Miro Quartet, at Caruth Auditorium, patrons of the Dallas Chamber Music series were wide-eyed at the aural and emotional impact of the piece.”"
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Dallas Morning News

Classical Music Review: In hands of Miró Quartet, Kevin Puts’ ‘Credo’ astounds
By Scott Cantrell, February 10, 2009

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