Jennifer Higdon is one of the most performed living American composers today. She taught herself to play the flute at the age of 15, wrote her first composition when she was 21, then eventually went on to win the Pulitzer prize for her violin concerto in 2010. She recently completed her first opera, “Cold Mountain”, which was premiered by the Santa Fe Opera in 2015 and is being performed in Philadelphia this week.
Jennifer Higdon and I have known each other since we were classmates at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Over the years it’s been such an honor and a delight to perform so many of her works – in fact, I even helped her record her very first album, Rapid Fire, way back in 1995. Despite all the well-deserved accolades Jennifer has received for her incredible compositions, she remains one of the sweetest, most genuine and down-to-earth persons I know.
In this special interview, Jennifer tells the stories behind some of her most popular compositions, and shares some practical insights into what it takes to be able to make a full-time living as a composer today.
Jennifer’s Website: http://jenniferhigdon.com
Info on ordering Jennifer’s music: http://jenniferhigdon.com/contact.html
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Here is a video of me performing a portion of one of Jennifer’s works, “Flute Poetic”, at The Curtis Institute of Music with flutist Emma Resmini (who was only 14 years old at the time of this recording):