Acclaimed contemporary classical composer talks his career and his cinematic music for the concert hall, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, his approach to composition and how much John Williams’ music touched him since childhood and inspired him to become a composer

Few contemporary classical composers have such a wide-ranging, colorful and personal style like Kevin Puts. Winner of the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his debut opera Silent Night, he has become one of the leading American composers of his generation. Critically acclaimed for a richly colored, harmonic, and freshly melodic musical voice that has also been described as “emotional, compelling, and relevant,” his works, which include two operas, four symphonies, and several concertos, have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the world.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin Puts started to study piano during childhood. His love for music was ignited by the John Williams’ scores for such films as Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which made a lasting effect on him and were among the main inspirations to pursue a career as a composer.

His love for movie music, and specifically John Williams, led him to a musical style characterized by a strong storytelling element. His compositions have been often described as “cinematic” and “film-like” by music critics and commentators, an observation that Puts always took as a compliment.

Puts’ catalogue is truly impressive and includes major orchestral, symphonic and operatic works and a great deal of chamber music as well. His Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night is probably his most important and successful work so far. It was premiered by Minnesota Opera in November 2011, and marked his debut in the genre of opera and vocal works. Describing his work, Puts said he was “going for a cinematic quality, commenting on the action and the emotions of a scene as it unfolds as a great film composer like John Williams might do it”.

In this conversation, Kevin talks about his career as a contemporary classical composer, his approach to composition as storytelling, and how much the music of John Williams inspired him since childhood, particulary the score of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

For more information and the list of musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/03/22/legacy-conversations-kevin-puts/

Legendary trumpeteer talks his illustrious career as former Associate Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra / Principal Trumpet of the Boston Pops and his subsequent life as studio musician in Los Angeles, including his many collaborations with John Williams as soloist on such scores as Born On The Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon and Saving Private Ryan

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

Trumpet legend Tim Morrison has defined probably more than any other soloists one of the key signature styles of John Williams, enhancing the American spirit in many of the composer's brilliant pieces for film and the concert hall through his singing, lyrical trumpet sound and purity of tone. Tim Morrison has been the voice of Ron Kovic's struggle in Born on the Fourth of July and the reminiscence of President Kennedy's core American values in JFK; he underlined John Quincy Adams' noble speeches in Amistad, and accompanied with somber, plaintive tones the drama of World War II American soldiers in Saving Private Ryan. Whenever John Williams needed that signature American sound in some of his film scores, he often chose Tim Morrison to be the interpreter of choice. Also, as Principal Trumpet of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1987 to 1997, he has often being the soloist of choice in many concerts and recordings with Williams on the podium.

In this wide, in-depth conversation, Tim Morrison talks about his brilliant career and musical life, from his studies and early days as performer to his arrival in Boston, his many collaborations with John Williams as soloist on Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon and Saving Private Ryan, but also the many brilliant Boston Pops recordings he performed in, including the iconic Summon the Heroes solo. He also reflects on Williams' comment about his "American sound", his life as studio musician in L.A., and his solo recording album After Hours.

What happens when you discover and start to love music when you're still a little kid and share this passion with one of your siblings? This is the starting point of this in-depth discussion between two pairs of brothers with many things in common, specifically the love for the music of John Williams. One of the missions of this website is to celebrate and discuss the huge influence of the Maestro among at least two generations of people who literally grew up and became adults while listening to his music, and how it helped shape lives and even careers of millions of people around the world.

Brothers Will Brueggemann and Marty Brueggemann are two of the most admired podcasters among the niche of film music aficionados on the internet. Their show, UnderScore: A Podcast of Music and Story, offers insightful musical analysis of major film scores including works by John Williams. In this episode, titled "Growing Up With John Williams", editor Maurizio Caschetto and contributor/illustrator Gianmaria Caschetto sit down with Will and Marty to discuss what it means to grow up listening to the music of Maestro Williams. Both pairs of brothers were raised in similar contexts and started to fall in love with Williams' music for such films as Superman, E.T. and Star Wars since childhood (as happened to millions of fans and admirers of the Maestro around the globe). The discussion goes on to talk about Williams' unrivaled compostional prowess, his daring harmonic choices and his uncanny ability to craft the perfect melody for the film. More thoughts are also offered about what makes John Williams' music so exciting for kids and young people.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App