Neil Varon, Conductor
Featuring Renée Fleming
University of Rochester’s Eastman Philharmonia orchestra will present the world premiere performances of Letters from Georgia, a new song cycle by Kevin Puts.
Puts, a Pulitzer Prize-winning alumnus of the Eastman School of Music (BM ’94, DMA ’99), wrote the piece specifically for his alma mater’s Philharmonia and for world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming, a fellow Eastman alumna (MM ’83 HNR ’11) and Distinguished Visiting Artist at the School.
Inspired by letters written by artist Georgia O’Keeffe, the song cycle marks the first collaboration between Puts and Fleming. Letters from Georgia headlines a program which also includes Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5.
The new commission by Kevin Puts is co-sponsored by Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Bette Hirsch of Palo Alto, California, and the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music. Hanson founded the Eastman Philharmonia in 1958, when the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was Director of the Eastman School of Music. Mrs. Hirsch is a University of Rochester alumna (’64).