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Jennifer Higdon

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Jennifer Higdon


Jennifer Higdon (b. 31 December 1962, Brooklyn, N.Y.) is an American composer.

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.

Her works have been recorded on over two dozen CDs. In 2004, the Atlanta Symphony released the Grammy-winning Higdon: Concerto for Orchestra/City Scape. In fall of 2006, NAXOS released a recording of Higdon's chamber works (performed by the Cypress String Quartet). At the same time, Cedille released a recording of Zaka, performed by eighth blackbird, and Crystal Records released a recording of DASH, performed by the Verdehr Trio.

Higdon enjoys more than 200 performances a year of her works. Her work Blue Cathedral is one of the most-performed orchestral works by a living composer (more than 140 orchestras have performed the work since its 2000 premiere). Violin Concerto received a Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2010. Her Percussion Concerto was awarded a Grammy in 2010, and her Viola Concerto took a Grammy in 2018. Dr. Higdon also received the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University, which is given to contemporary classical composers of exceptional achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition.

Dr. Higdon maintains a full schedule of commissions, and her music is known for its technical skill and audience appeal. 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," she is one of America's most frequently performed composers.

She teaches composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Works for Winds


  • Booth, David Martin. "Rhythm Stand." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 230-237. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
  • Fannin, Karen. "Fanfare Ritmico." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 894-900. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 353.
  • Jennifer Higdon website accessed 12 September 2017
  • Jennifer Higdon, Prized Composers, University of Washington
  • Moss, Emily. "Mysterium." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 580-587. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
  • Salzman, Timothy, editor. (2012) A Composer's Insight. Volume 5. Galesville, Md.: Meredith Music Publications. pp. 117–141.