The American composer Jennifer Higdon has won a Pulitzer Prize for her Violin Concerto, a work premiered by Hilary Hahn and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Venzago in February 2009. The Pulitzer citation referred to the work as “a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity”. It has since been recorded by Hahn, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Vasily Petrenko (due to be released by DG this autumn). The Pulitzer Prize is also accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize.
Higdon is no stranger to awards success having won a Grammy for the LPO recording of her Percussion Concerto, a disc conducted by Marin Alsop who has commented that Higdon’s music “is as enjoyable for the performers to play as it is for the audience, and that, of course, makes for a great atmosphere in the hall! Her music has great energy and real rhythmic vitality, and she writes for the orchestra very well.”
Higdon was singled out as one of “Today’s Great Composers” in Gramophone’s June 2008 issue.