The Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night powerfully recalls the near-mythic Christmas Eve battlefield truce during the Great War. We are delighted that Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, the composer and librettist of Silent Night, will present this year’s lecture, held in memory of Wexford’s Dr Tom Walsh. Dr Walsh was one of the founders of the Wexford Festival of Music and the Arts in 1951 and its first Artistic Director, from 1951 to 1966.
Tea and coffee will be served from 10:00 am before the lecture. Come early and take advantage of this opportunity to compare notes about the premiere of Silent Night the previous evening.
Jerome Hynes Theatre
Wexford Opera House
Saturday, 25 October – 11:00 am
Kindly supported by Victoria Walsh-Hamer.
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 orchestras in the United States and abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, the
Tonhalle Orchestër (Zurich), the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Atlanta,
Colorado, Houston, Fort Worth, Utah, St. Louis, the Boston Pops, and the Minnesota Orchestra
which commissioned his Sinfonia Concertante, 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.
Puts’ orchestral catalog includes four symphonies as well as several concertos written for some of
today’s top soloists. In 2005, Mr. Puts received the tremendous honour 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, and a
piano concerto commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and premiered in 2008 by
pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane.
Puts has received awards and grants from the American Academy in Rome, the Guggenheim
Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI and ASCAP. He has served as
Composer‐in‐Residence of Young Concerts 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. He received his training as a composer and pianist at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. Since 2006, he has been a member of the composition department at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
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.
Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand librettists working in opera today, profiled in Opera News as one of twenty-five people 'poised...to become major forces in opera in the coming decade.'
He has collaborated with many notable contemporay composers, including Mark Adamo, William Bolcom, Conrad Cummigs, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Martin Hennessy, Laura Kaminsky, Paul Moravec, John Musto, Kevin Puts, Richard Peaslee and Michael Torke. His most successful operas include Volpone, Later the Same Evening, Bastianello/Lucrezia, Rappahannock County, and Silent Night.
Mark has received many prestigious awards for his work. Most recently, Silent Night was honoured with the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Volpone received a 2010 Grammy nomination for best Classical Recording. He also received the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two RIchard Rodgers Awards and a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship.
As a lyricist, Mark penned all of the lyrics for Songs from an Unmade Bed, a theatrical song cycle with music by 18 composers including Jake Heggie and Duncan Sheik. The show has since been produced in many venues around the world. Other musicals for which he has written lyrics include: And the Curtain Rises, The Audience, Splendora, Akin, and Light Shall Lift Them.
Recordings of Mark’s works include the Grammy-nominated Volpone, (Wolf Trap Recordings), Later the Same Evening (Albany Records), Bastianello/Lucrezia (Bridge Classical) and Songs from an Unmade Bed (Sh-k-Boom Records). Songs from an Unmade Bed and Silent Night are also published by Bill Holab Music.
Upcoming operas include: As One (2014, AOP/BAM, Laura Kaminsky); The Other Room (2014, Inner Voices, Marisa Michelson); The Manchurian Candidate (2015, Minnesota Opera, Kevin Puts); Burke + Hare (2016, Music-Theatre Group, Julian Grant); The Shining (Minnsota Opera); Elizabeth Cree (2017, Opera Philadelphia, Kevin Puts); Dinner at Eight (2017, Minnesota Opera, William Bolcom).×