Phila. classical music composer scores Grammy

    She doesn’t have the name recognition of Beyonce or Taylor Swift, but Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon won a Grammy award last night for composition. Higdon is one of the more popular names in classical music

    She doesn’t have the name recognition of Beyonce or Taylor Swift, but Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon won a Grammy award last night for composition.

    Higdon is one of the more popular names in classical music.

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    The Philadelphia Orchestra has twice commissioned Jennifer Higdon to compose, including “Percussion Concerto” in 2005. But it was the London Philharmonic who made the Grammy-winning recording of her work featuring a lengthy drum solo. Jennifer Higdon.

    Higdon: I kept in mind the percussion section of Philadelphia Orchestra.  I wrote a big juicy section for them because they are so fun to work with.

    Higdon – who teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music – hopes the Grammy award will bring attention to the drummer. Philadelphia Orchestra Vice President Jeremy Rothman says percussion is often overlooked.

    Rothman: You see a lot of violin soloists and piano soloists, and maybe once every few years you see a percussionist crop up. It’s not something traditionally thought of as a solo instrument in the symphonic world.

    Higdon’s previous composition – Blue Cathedral – is one of the most performed pieces of recent classical music in the world. It premiered in Philadelphia.

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