Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies
Jennifer Higdon is one of the most acclaimed and frequently performed composers working today. She has received the Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy awards for best contemporary classical composition, Guggenheim and Pew fellowships, a commission from the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University, and the Eddie Medora King Award from the University of Texas at Austin. She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2019.
Dr. Higdon has been commissioned by a wide range of performers, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota orchestras; the Chicago and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras; the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band; the Tokyo String Quartet; Eighth Blackbird; and individual artists such as baritone Thomas Hampson; violinists Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Koh, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg; and pianists Gary Graffman and Yuja Wang. Her first opera, Cold Mountain, was a resounding success, winning an International Opera Award for best world premiere. Her works are recorded on more than 75 CDs.
Dr. Higdon holds a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance from Bowling Green State University, an artist diploma in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1994 Dr. Higdon joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies.