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Acclaimed composer Dr. Jennifer Higdon to conduct three-day residency at School of Music
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Acclaimed composer Dr. Jennifer Higdon to conduct three-day residency at School of Music

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dr. Jennifer Higdon.

The Ethos New Music Society is bringing Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon to the School of Music for a three-day residency, on April 23 to 25, which will feature performances of her music by two student ensembles, as well as a lecture/master class and student lessons.

During the College Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. in King Concert Hall, string players will perform “Blue Cathedral,” Dr. Higdon’s signature composition, and “To the Point.” With more than 600 performances worldwide since its premiere in 2000, “Blue Cathedral” is regarded as one of the most often performed contemporary orchestral compositions by a living American.

A Chamber Orchestra concert on Monday, 8 p.m., in Rosch Recital Hall will feature five Higdon pieces: “Dash,” “Lullaby,” “An Exaltation of Larks,” “Like Clockwork” and “Mountain Songs.”

Both concerts, as well as a lecture/master class Higdon will deliver on Sunday, April 24 at 4 p.m. in Mason Hall Room 1075, are free and open to the public.

Higdon is considered one of America’s most acclaimed living composers. A major force in contemporary Classical music, Higdon makes her living from commissions that represent a range of genres that include orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal and wind ensemble. She has been hailed by the Washington Post as “a savvy, sensitive composer with a keen ear, an innate sense of form and a generous dash of pure esprit.” Higdon compositions have been performed throughout the world, with several hundred performances every year, and are also featured on over 60 CDs.

Individual honors received by Higdon in 2010 include the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for “Percussion Concerto” and the Pulitzer Prize in Music for “Violin Concerto.” In the latter, Higdon’s work was lauded as “a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.”

Higdon has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Academy of Arts & Letters, Koussevitzky Foundation, Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, National Endowment for the Arts and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). She currently holds the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she works with young composers and musicians.

A reviewer in the Baltimore Sun wrote, “There’s something very American in the sound of her music, and something I’m tempted to call joyful – not in terms of what is expressed…but in how it is expressed. She is a composer in love with composing.”

Higdon holds a Ph.D. and 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.

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