Jennifer Higdon is a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer whose works garner more than 300 performances a year, making her one of the most performed living American composers working today. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Koussevitzky Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Her Secret & Glass Gardens was a winner in the Van Cliburn Piano Competition’s American Composers Invitational. Higdon was honored by the Delaware Symphony with the A.I. DuPont Award for her contributions to the symphonic literature; and was recently presented the Distinguished Arts Award by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.
Higdon’s commissions have come from a wide range of performers: from such orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra, to The President’s Own Marine Band; from the Tokyo String Quartet and the Lark Quartet, to the new music ensemble, eighth blackbird; as well as individual artists such as violinists Hilary Hahn and Jennifer Koh, and pianists Gary Graffman and Yuja Wang. Her most recent project is an opera based on the best-selling novel, Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier. It was premiered to all sold-out performances by the Santa Fe Opera in August of 2015 and will travel to Opera Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera and North Carolina Opera in the next two seasons.
Upcoming projects include a Viola Concerto for Roberto Diaz, commissioned by the Library of Congress; a song cycle for Thomas Hampson, commissioned by Carnegie Hall; and a work for Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s New Century Chamber Orchestra. Higdon makes her living from commissions and serves as composer-in-residence with various orchestras and universities throughout the country. She holds the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her works are recorded on over 50 CDs.
Higdon holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Music Composition from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.M. in Flute Performance from Bowling Green State University, and an Artist Diploma in Music Composition from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Higdon’s Violin Concerto won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music and will receive its West Coast premiere this season during Courage & Connection, Friday, August 12.