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Curtis in the News: Grammy Wins for the Higdon Viola Concerto

Jennifer Higdon and Roberto DíazOn Sunday, January 28, the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition went to Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto, performed by Curtis President Roberto Díaz (Viola ’84) with the Nashville Symphony and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

Co-commissioned by the Curtis Institute of Music, the Library of Congress, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Nashville Symphony, the Higdon Viola Concerto was also featured on the album that won the Grammy for Best Classical Compendium.

The Higdon Viola Concerto was premiered in 2015 by Roberto Díaz and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra with conductor Robert Spano (’85) at the Library of Congress and was performed across the United States as part of Curtis on Tour.

Commenting on the work, Roberto Díaz said “You can hear the influences of American composers from the past—there is jazz, there are beautiful lyrical sections. You can tell that it’s a very American and very Curtis-sounding piece.” Jennifer Higdon graduated from Curtis in 1988. 

Watch the world premiere performance at the Library of Congress (Viola Concerto begins at 24:47).

Pictured: Jennifer Higdon and Roberto Díaz at the 2015 premiere (photo: Shawn Miller)