I am happy for Jennifer Higdon. I love her music, in which I hear echoes of Messiaen's organic rhythmic complexity and birdlike melodies, in a style uniquely fresh. She uses orchestral colors to paint magnificent sound-scapes, supported by powerful rhythmical counterpoint.
PHILADELPHIA — Jennifer Higdon wishes there were a 12-step program on how to deal with all the various stages of composing anxiety, she said, laughing, on Sunday in the spacious apartment here that she shares with her partner, Cheryl Lawson.
“Starting a piece is the worst,” she said, “and that can stretch from one day to three weeks of agony. The cats run and hide.”
Despite the angst, Ms. Higdon, 47, comes across as friendly, down to earth and upbeat. And her creative struggles have paid off. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this month for her Violin Concerto, which she wrote for the young soloist Hilary Hahn. The Pulitzer committee praised the work, which received its premiere in February 2009 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as “a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.”
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