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New Music Predictions: Kevin Puts

In a world of music where we are so often looking back into the past, Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary celebrations send a clear message about the importance of looking forward, particularly when it comes to programming. To mark each of the years since it first opened its doors in 1891, Carnegie Hall has commissioned 125 new works to be premiered throughout the 2015-2020 seasons.

So where do we expect this new music to go? This question was put to both established and emerging composers who have recently been commissioned by Carnegie Hall.


My guess is that music is swinging back toward a warmer, more genuine type of expression, to that which is often called “sentimental,” but which I have always regarded as “sincere.” Irony as an aesthetic approach has produced some interesting and cerebrally engaging things, but I hear composers once again returning to music which is heartfelt, which is driven mainly by pure emotion, and which hits you square in the gut. The trick—which the greatest of composers have always mastered—is in balancing the cerebral and the emotional. It’s what I continue to try to do.

—Kevin Puts


This article first appeared in Carnegie Hall: 125 Years of an Iconic Music Venue’s Most Remarkable People and Memorable Events, available at

Photo of Kevin Puts by David White.

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