Photos by Candace DiCarlo

About Open Ears: So many people who made invaluable contributions to classical music have been nearly lost to history or are underappreciated in their time. That’s why KDFC is starting Open Ears, a series of stories about composers, musicians, and conductors who deserve more recognition. You can learn more and explore other articles here.

One of today’s finest composers was a compositional late bloomer. Jennifer Higdon wrote her first pieces in college and went on to win the 2010 Pulitzer Prize (for her Violin Concerto) and two Grammy Awards (for her Percussion Concerto and Viola Concerto). She has been praised as “a savvy, sensitive composer with a keen ear, an innate sense of form and a generous dash of pure esprit.”

When I interviewed Higdon in 2007, I asked her if she came from a musical home:

Explore some of incredible music by Jennifer Higdon below: