Jennifer Higdon

Biography

Born: December 31, 1962; Brooklyn, NY  
Jennifer Higdon is one of the leading American composers from the turn of the twenty first century era. Her earliest compositions date to the early '80s, but she emerged as an important figure in the period of the new millenium with such orchestra works as blue cathedral (1999), City Scape (2002), and Concerto for Orchestra (2002). She has been prolific and versatile, producing music in most instrumental and vocal genres.

Higdon was born
Read more in Brooklyn, NY, on December 31, 1962. Raised in Atlanta, GA, and Seymour, TN, she taught herself to play the flute at 15. Her advanced studies in music were at Bowling Green State University (B.M. in flute performance), the University of Pennsylvania (M.A. and Ph.D. in composition), and the Curtis Institute of Music (Artist Diploma). Her composition teachers included George Crumb and Ned Rorem. Higdon eventually settled in Philadelphia, the home of the latter two schools.

Higdon did not begin composing until she was 21, her first works, When Souls Meet (1982) and The Jeffrey Mode (1984), scored for flute and piano. At Bowling Green State University, Higdon met Robert Spano in 1985, the conductor who would champion her cause with his highly praised 2004 Telarc recording of her Concerto for Orchestra and City Scape with his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The CD captured four Grammy nominations, including for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

In 1994 Higdon joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music to teach composition. She was promoted to professor in 2001. By the mid-'90s, she was producing works in larger forms. Shine (1995), her second orchestral work, was premiered at the 1996 Indiana State University's Festival of Contemporary Music and later given USA Today's award for Best Contemporary Piece. She attracted numerous commissions soon afterward, several from the most important American orchestras, including the Philadelphia, Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and many others.

The Philadelphia Orchestra commission was met by her highly successful Concerto for Orchestra, in 2002. Higdon received a string of awards and citations in the early years of the new century, including an Artist's Fellowship -- Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (2000), Composer-in-Residence -- Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music (2002), and Composer of the Year -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (2005). Among later compositions have been her 2006 chamber pieces String Poetic for violin and piano and Splendid Wood for marimba ensemble. In 2010, Higdon was awarded the Grammy Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Percussion Concerto (2008) and the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her Violin Concerto (2009). Read less
Browse 1-25 of 48 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Incandescence: Music By Women Composers For Saxophone And Piano
    Label: Saxophone Classics   Catalog: 14002 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Fernande Decruck,  Stacy Garrop,  Fernande Decrück  ... 
    Performer:  Alexa Still,  Anna Duke
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  HD Duo (Saxophone & Piano)
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  • 2.
    25 X 25 (25 Premieres For 25 Years) / Rosenbaum, New York Virtuoso Singers
    Label: Soundbrush Records   Catalog: 1027 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  David Del Tredici,  Michael Stuckey,  Fred Lerdahl,  John Harbison  ... 
    Conductor:  Harold Rosenbaum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Virtuoso Singers
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  • 3.
    Higdon: Sky Quartet, Amazing Grace, Viola Sonata
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559752 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon
    Performer:  Molly Carr,  Charles Abramovic,  Eric Stomberg,  Timothy Schwarz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Serafin String Quartet
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  • 4.
    License To Thrill / Joe Burgstaller
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 600 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joe Burgstaller,  George Gershwin,  Chick Corea,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Butterman,  Joe Burgstaller,  Alex Clark,  Mary Burke  ... 
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  • 5.
    Jennifer Higdon: An Exaltation Of Larks / Lark Quartet
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9379 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Todd Palmer,  Blair McMillen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lark String Quartet
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  • 6.
    Celebrating The American Spirit / Clurman, Essential Voices USA
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92162 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Gilberston,  Jake Heggie,  Stephen Paulus,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Ron Raines,  Kelli O’hara
    Conductor:  Judith Clurman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Essential Voices USA
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  • 7.
    In The World Of The Spirits: Christmas Classics For Wind Band
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573002 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude T. Smith,  Traditional,  Gustav Holst,  Philip Sparke  ... 
    Conductor:  Scott A. Stewart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emory Symphonic Winds
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  • 8.
    Dragon Rhyme - Jennifer Higdon, Kurt Weill, Chen Yi
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572889 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Kurt Weill,  Chen Yi
    Performer:  Carrie Koffman,  Anton Miller
    Conductor:  Glen Adsit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hartt School Wind Ensemble
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  • 9.
    American Breeze / Musical Arts Woodwind Quintet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1369 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steven Edward Stucky,  Jenni Brandon,  Bruce Adolphe,  Amy Marcy Beach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musical Arts Woodwind Quintet
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  • 10.
    Metamorphosis -  Higdon, Clearfield, Primosch /  Mendelssohn Club Of Philadelphia
    Label: Innova   Catalog: 806 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Andrea Clearfield,  James Primosch
    Performer:  Sanford Sylvan
    Conductor:  Alan Harler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Higdon: Chamber Music
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1395 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon
    Performer:  Theresa Bogard,  John Fadial,  Beth Vanderborgh,  Hicole Riner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verismo Trio
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  • 12.
    13 Ways Of Looking At The Goldberg: Bach Reimagined
    Label: Tritone Records   Catalog: 59140 Release Date: 09/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fred Lerdahl,  Jennifer Higdon,  Bright Sheng,  Derek Bermel  ... 
    Performer:  Lara Downes
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  • 13.
    Notable Women / Lincoln Trio
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 126 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lera Auerbach,  Stacy Garrop,  Jennifer Higdon,  Laura Elise Schwendinger  ... 
    Performer:  Desiree Ruhstrat,  David Cunliffe,  Marta Aznavoorian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lincoln Trio
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  • 14.
    River Of Light - American Short Works For Violin & Piano / Fain, Wang
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559662 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kevin Puts,  Philip Glass,  Aaron Jay Kernis,  Lev Zhurbin  ... 
    Performer:  Tim Fain,  Pei-Yao Wang
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  • 15.
    To The Point  / Freeman, Orchestra 2001
    Label: Innova   Catalog: 745 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Andrew Rudin,  Gunther Schuller,  Romeo Cascarino  ... 
    Performer:  Diane Monroe,  Dorothy Freeman,  Maria Bachmann
    Conductor:  James Freeman,  Gunther Schuller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra 2001
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  • 16.
    American Music For Percussion, Vol 1 / New England Conservatory Percussion Ensemble
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559683 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joan Tower,  Felicia Sandler,  Jennifer Higdon,  Robert Xavier Rodriguez  ... 
    Conductor:  Frank Epstein,  Gunther Schuller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New England Conservatory Percussion Ensemble
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  • 17.
    Revelations
    Label: Gia   Catalog: 843 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ryan George,  Ricardo Lorenz,  Jennifer Higdon,  Alfred Reed  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Ford
    Conductor:  Eugene Corporon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North Texas Wind Symphony
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  • 18.
    Higdon: On a Wire; Gandolfi: Q.E.D. Engaging Richard Feynman / Spano, Atlanta SO
    Label: Aso Media (Label)   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Michael Gandolfi
    Conductor:  Robert Spano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Eighth Blackbird,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
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  • 19.
    American Portraits / Paavo Jarvi, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Fanfare Cincinnati   Catalog: 945 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Coleman,  Jennifer Higdon,  Carter Pann,  Jonathan Holland  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Tchaikovsky, Higdon: Violin Concertos / Hilary Hahn
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1469802 Release Date: 09/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    The Singing Rooms / Spano, Koh, Atlanta Symphony
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 32630 Release Date: 09/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alvin Singleton,  Alexander Scriabin,  Jennifer Higdon
    Performer:  Jennifer Koh
    Conductor:  Robert Spano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
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  • 22.
    Classic Structures  / Haithcock, University Of Michigan Symphony Band
    Label: Equilibrium   Catalog: 97 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Ludwig,  Jennifer Higdon,  William Bolcom,  Dana Wilson
    Performer:  Nancy Ambrose King,  Adam Unsworth
    Conductor:  Michael Haithcock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Michigan Symphony Band
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  • 23.
    American Works For Flute & Harp
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1185 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marcel Grandjany,  Stephen Andrew Taylor,  Charles Rochester Young,  Jennifer Higdon  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Keeble,  Ann Yeung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Electronics
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  • 24.
    Short Stories: American Music For Saxophone Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559616 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jennifer Higdon,  Charles Ives,  F.J. "Jelly Roll" Morton,  Carleton Macy  ... 
    Performer:  Kurt Claussen,  Dee Langley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ancia Saxophone Quartet
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  • 25.
    Transmigration / Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80673 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  John Adams,  John Corigliano,  Jennifer Higdon
    Performer:  Nmon Ford,  Nmon Ford-Livene
    Conductor:  Robert Spano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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