On November 12, the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music Philharmonia Orchestra performed the world premiere of Kevin Puts’s Letters from Georgia in Rochester, New York, with soprano Renée Fleming as soloist. Neal Varon, a professor of conducting and ensembles at the Eastman School, led the concert. Puts’s song cycle is inspired by letters written by artist Georgia O’Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe’s husband, and artist Anita Pollitzer. Letters from Georgia will be performed a second time at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on November 14 with the same personnel. In addition to the premiere of the Puts work, the program also includes Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. The Eastman Philharmonia is one of three orchestras at the Eastman School of Music, and was founded in 1958 by composer and educator Howard Hanson. The Puts commission was sponsored by the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music in California and by Joseph and Bette Hirsch, the latter a 1964 University of Rochester graduate.
Posted November 14, 2016