Georgia’s on Their Minds: Kevin Puts and Renee Fleming introduce “Letters from Georgia”

Renee Fleming with the Eastman Philharmonia in 2011

This Saturday, November 12, marks the world premiere of Letters from Georgia, a new orchestral song cycle by Eastman alumnus Kevin Puts (BM ’94, DMA ’99), who won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his first opera, Silent Night. Based on passages from the letters of Georgia O’Keeffe, the piece will be performed by the Eastman Philharmonia under Neil Varon, with soprano (and Eastman alumna) Renee Fleming (MM ’83, “11 Honorary) – the artists for whom the piece was written. (Varon will also conduct Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony.)

Most exciting of all, perhaps, is that the concert will be repeated the following Monday, November 14, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, marking the first performance by the Philharmonia in New York for many years – an exciting opportunity for Eastman and for our students.

In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s premiere, both Puts and Fleming have shared their insights about this exciting new work in videos and in interviews. And to prepare you for the big night, we’ve collected them here in one convenient blog post!

Renee Fleming (photo credit: Andrew Eccles, DECCA)

Here is an interview with Renee Fleming from Rochester radio station WXXI-FM, Classical 91.5:

Composer Kevin Puts

Kevin Puts described a movement from his new work in a video presentation:


Music journalist Brian Kellow interviewed Kevin for his blog “Follow Kellow”:

And the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle interviewed Renee and Kevin about the new work and about their careers:

Professor of Conducting and Ensembles Neil Varon (Photo by Nadine Sherman)

Professor of Conducting and Ensembles Neil Varon (Photo by Nadine Sherman)

Eastman Philharmonia conductor Neil Varon

Eastman Presents:
Eastman Philharmonia
Neil Varon, Conductor
Renee Fleming, soprano
World premiere of Kevin Puts’s Letters from Georgia
Saturday, November 12 – Kodak Hall

The concert will be repeated Monday, November 14, in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

For more information click this link.