[ students & alumni ]

Composer Katherine Balch selected to attend Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute

Katie Balch

Katherine Balch

Katherine Balch ’16 MM is among seven emerging young composers chosen to participate in the Minnesota Orchestra‘s 14th annual Composer Institute. The seven finalists were chosen from a pool of 212 applicants, a record-breaking number for the institute.

The institute will take place from January 30 to February 3, 2017, and will include rehearsals, seminars, and mentoring sessions, as well as a public performance of their works by the Minnesota Orchestra on February 3.


Published June 13, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Faculty, Alumni, and Students Receive NEA Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the recipients of their Art Works Grants for 2016, and several faculty, alumni, and student composers are among the awardees. The organization awarded $27 million for arts projects across the United States, and the first round of FY 2016 funding inaugurates the next 50 Years of National Endowment for the Arts Support.

The NEA defines “Art Works” as referring to three things: the works of art themselves, the ways art works on audiences, and the fact that art is work for the artists and arts professionals who make up the field. The NEA recognizes these catalytic effects of excellent art, and the key role that arts and design organizations play in revitalizing them. MORE

Published March 1, 2016
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Yale alumni win awards from American Academy of Arts and Letters

Harold Meltzer | Photo by Emily Greta Tabourin

Harold Meltzer | Photo by Emily Greta Tabourin

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the recipients of this year’s awards in music. Several Yale alumni are among the winners.

The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members: Joan Tower (chairman), Samuel Adler, Martin Boykan, Mario Davidovsky, Stephen Hartke, Stephen Jaffe, and Aaron Jay Kernis. The awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

Harold Meltzer ’97MMA, ’00DMA and Kevin Puts ’96MM were among the four winners of the Arts and Letters Awards in Music. The $10,000 awards honor outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledge composers who have arrived at their own voices. Each will receive an additional $10,000 toward the recording of one work.  MORE

Published March 3, 2015
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[ in the press ]

New York Times: ‘Silent Night,’ Pulitzer Winner, to Air on PBS

New York Times
By Allan Kozinn

[Photo of Kevin Puts]

“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.

Mr. Puts based his opera on Christian Carion’s screenplay for the 2005 film “Joyeux Nöel,” which is based on an incident during World War I in which Scottish, French and German soldiers negotiate a Christmas truce and share their provisions and personal stories. The opera’s libretto, by Mark Campbell, is in English, German, French, Italian and Latin.

The Minnesota Opera commissioned the work with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, which performed it in 2013.


Published November 13, 2013
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A Pulitzer Winner Asks: Why Write Symphonies?

NPR Music

In 2007, I was interviewed by a journalist over lunch a day before the premiere of my Violin Concerto. One of his first questions was, “So why do you write in these old forms, the symphony, the concerto … ?” I told him that these were simply titles which imply nothing about the form, which was another thing entirely. But it led me to ask myself: What is a symphony these days? If it no longer comprises a four-movement structure with an energetic first movement, a slow movement, a scherzo, and some kind of quick rondo, then what exactly characterizes it? And why write one? MORE

Published August 6, 2013
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Kevin Puts Concentrates on the Direct, Intimate Present

Q2 Music Album of the Week of July 29, 2013
By Daniel Stephen Johnson

Kevin Puts was a dark horse for the Pulitzer Prize when his Silent Night brought him the commendation in 2012. But that opera seems in retrospect tailor-made for the award: telling a gripping story in two lean hours of music, sung in five languages and an array of musical styles, Silent Night was nothing if not ambitious, the sort of achievement that cries out for laurels. MORE

Published August 1, 2013
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[ alumni ]

Kevin Puts ’96MM wins 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Yale School of Music graduate Kevin Puts ’96MM is the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera Silent Night, it was announced today.

The Pulitzer Prize in Music is awarded to a “distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year.” This year’s citation read:

Awarded to Kevin Puts for Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts, commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis on November 12, 2011, 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 opera’s libretto is by Mark Campbell and is based on the 2005 film Joyeux Noël, directed by Christian Carion and produced by Nord-Ouest Production. MORE

Published April 16, 2012
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