From a Boston Crusaders press release: Jennifer Higdon is one of the most prominent classical composers and is now considered a major figure in contemporary American music. The Boston Crusaders included music from two of her works in its 2006 show, "blue cathedral" and her "Concerto for Orchestra." On the day of the DCI World Championship Semifinals, she visited the corps' rehearsal in Madison, Wis. She told the members of the corps that seeing her music performed by the Boston Crusaders was more thrilling than taking a bow at Carnegie Hall after a performance of one of her compositions. She also recounted how she had begun her career in music playing flute in a corps-style marching band while in high school.
Higdon's list of commissioners is extensive and includes the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the National Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Gilmore Piano Festival and the Philadelphia Singers. She has been honored with awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Letters (two awards), the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts and ASCAP. Her orchestral work "Shine" was named Best Contemporary Piece of 1996 by USA Today in the publication's year-end classical picks. In the summer of 2003, she was the first woman to be named a featured composer at the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival. Higdon enjoys more than a hundred performances a year of her works. Her orchestral work "blue cathedral" is one of the most performed contemporary orchestral works in the United States, receiving more than 50 performances in the 2004-2005 season alone. As of Feb. 20, 2005, Higdon's Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, has received 19 performances since its June 2002 premiere. Her works have been recorded on more than two dozen CDs. In spring of 2003 Telarc released blue cathedral with the Atlanta Symphony, Robert Spano, conducting, on a disc that made the Classical Billboard charts. Telarc has also recently released "Higdon: Concerto for Orchestra/City Scape" which was nominated for four Grammy Awards.
Jennifer Higdon talks to members of the Boston Crusaders.