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Jennifer Higdon | photo: J.D. Scott
CapRadio Classical and Jazz is celebrating women in music all month long by featuring a different classical composer every weekday. Today's spotlight is on Jennifer Higdon.
Higdon (b. Brooklyn, NY, December 31, 1962) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and a three-time Grammy-winner whose works represent a wide range of genres from orchestral to chamber music to choral and opera.
Higdon taught herself to play flute at the age of 15 and began formal musical studies at 18, with an even later start in composition at the age of 21.
The League of American Orchestras reports that she is one of America's most frequently performed composers.
Higdon's list of commissioners is extensive and includes The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, The Atlanta Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony, as well such groups as the Tokyo String Quartet, the Lark Quartet, and the President's Own Marine Band. She has also written works for such artists as baritone Thomas Hampson, pianists Yuja Wang, violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Hilary Hahn among others.
Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto.
She has also received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, The Independence Foundation, the NEA, and ASCAP.
Higdon enjoys more than 200 performances a year of her works. Her orchestral work, blue cathedral, is the most performed contemporary orchestral works in the repertoire, more than 600 performances since its premiere in 2000.
Her works have been recorded on over 70 CDs. Higdon has won three Grammys in her career for Best Contemporary Classical Composition: first for her Percussion Concerto in 2010, in 2018 for her Viola Concerto and in 2020 for her Harp Concerto .
Dr. Higdon received a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Bowling Green State University, an Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from the Hartt School and Bowling Green State University.
In 2007 Higdon composed "Concerto 4-3" for the string trio Time For Three. They just won the Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for their album "Letters for the Future" on which they perform Higdon's Concerto.
Time for Three's Grammy-winning performance of Higdon's “Concerto 4-3” is today's Midday Masterpiece.
November 21, 2023
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