Peabody Johns Hopkins University Magazine

First Major-Label Release for Peabody 

First Major-Label Release for Peabody 

Headshot of Kevin Puts and Marin Alsop

The music of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer and Peabody Conservatory faculty artist Kevin Puts will be featured on a new recording by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and conductor Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and director of Peabody’s graduate conducting program. Slated for release on the Naxos label in 2016, the disc will include Dr. Puts’ Symphony No. 2 and his Flute Concerto, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra’s principal flutist Adam Walker.

This will mark the first major-label release for the PSO and will be recorded and produced by the Conservatory’s own Recording Arts Department. The Flute Concerto was recorded last spring, when Mr. Walker was in Baltimore to perform its East Coast premiere with the BSO. The symphony is being recorded this fall in conjunction with the PSO’s October 25 performance of it. A third Puts work, River’s Rush, will complete the disc, which is being funded by California-based new music patrons Joe and Bette Hirsch.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for our accomplished student musicians — both those performing on this recording and those engineering it,” says Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein. “And to be able to work with Maestra Alsop on a recording of this caliber is a very special experience that will serve students well in their future careers.”

Dr. Puts’ Symphony No. 2 was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University and premiered in 2002 by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi. His Flute Concerto was commissioned by Joe and Bette Hirsch and premiered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2013, with Peabody alumna Carolyn Kuan conducting the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Maestra Alsop, the festival’s music director, invited Mr. Walker to perform the premiere.

“I have championed Kevin Puts’ music for years, and I am delighted to work with the gifted young musicians in the Peabody Symphony Orchestra — and the brilliant Adam Walker — to bring this music to a wider audience,” Ms. Alsop says.

“Joe and I feel such a special connection to the Flute Concerto,” says Bette Hirsch. “Through this recording project, we are both very happy to be able to share with others our enthusiasm for this compelling contemporary music.”

In addition to his position on the Peabody faculty, Dr. Puts currently serves as director of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute. He won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his debut opera, Silent Night.

— Tiffany Lundquist