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Kevin Puts and Gabriela Lena Frank to Talk Shop with Alasdair
American composer Kevin Puts won a 2012 Pulitzer Prizes for his first opera “Silent Night,” while Berkeley, Calif., composer Gabriela Lena Frank draws upon her mother’s Peruvian heritage to elicit the sounds of such Latin American instruments as the pan flute and the charango guitar. COURTESY: Sun Valley Music Festival
Friday, July 22, 2022


Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts and Grammy-nominated composer and pianist Gabriela Lena Frank will discuss their creative experiences with Sun Valley Music Festival’s Alasdair Neale on Aug. 12.

The special morning Upbeat with Alasdair talk will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at Ketchum’s Community Library. It will be broadcast online at and at in addition to being offered in-person.

The talk will offer a preview of Puts’ and Frank’s works to be performed by the orchestra this summer. Contributions from contemporary composers help the art form continue to evolve, noted Neale: “We’re not museums—don’t forget, Beethoven was new music once.”

Puts has been hailed as one of the most important composers of his generation. He has written operas, symphonies and concertos that have been performed and recorded by eminent orchestras throughout the world. The Sun Valley Music Festival commissioned his “Hymn to the Sun” for the opening of the Sun Valley Pavilion in 2008.

The Music Festival also co-commissioned his latest work, a concerto titled “Contact,” which will be performed by the string trio Time for Three on Saturday, Aug. 13. Time for Three has performed with the Sun Valley Music Festival a handful of times. And the group included “Contact” on their new CD, which they will sign following the performance.

“I collaborated perhaps more closely than ever before in my career to create music tailored to the group’s unique style of performance—one which combines dazzling virtuosity, spontaneity, singing, all manner of string techniques and an infectious joy for music itself,” said Puts.

Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Three Latin American Dances for Orchestra” will open the Aug. 13 concert at which Puts’ concerto will be performed.

Frank creates music inspired by cultural diversity and folk music from Latin America, the United States and elsewhere. Her works have been commissioned and performed worldwide, and she has received numerous honors for her contributions to both music and the humanities, including the 25th anniversary Heinz Award. She was recently listed as one of the 35 most significant women composers in history by The Washington Post.

Reservations are required to attend the lecture in person and can be made at or by contacting the Festival office at or 208-622-5607. Once reservations are full, a waitlist will be established for those contacting the Festival office.

The Sun Valley Music Festival was recently named one of three idyllic U.S. music festivals to attend this summer by “Pianist Magazine.” Its season kicks off Sunday, July 24, with Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto performed by pianist George Li and runs through Thursday, Aug. 18, when the orchestra will perform Richard Strauss’ epic tone poem “An Alpine Symphony.”


Sun Valley Music Festival musician Alexandra Preucil will present mini-concerts when J.McLaughlin holds a Sip & Shop benefitting the festival from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30. Preucil will perform at 4:30 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday at the dress shop at 520 E. 4th St., Ketchum. Fifteen percent of sales will benefit the festival.

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