Dr. Jennifer Higdon ’86, ’14 (Hon.)

Jennifer Higdon is a Pulitzer Prize and three-time Grammy-winning composer and major figure in contemporary classical music.

Higdon's list of commissioners is extensive and includes The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra, as well such groups as the Tokyo String Quartet and the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band. Her music has been recorded on over 90 CDs. 

Higdon is the first classical composer to successfully own and manage her own publishing company. For more than two centuries, composers had to sign over copyrights to an established publishing house in order to achieve any level of performance success. As a young professional, Higdon saw the pitfalls of relinquishing copyright ownership and began Lawdon Press. Now the most performed living composer in the world, the company manages all printing and distribution of her music on a global basis.

Higdon has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among many others. In 2022, Higdon was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2018, she was elected to the American Philosophical Society (founded by Benjamin Franklin).

Higdon earned a bachelor’s in music performance from BGSU. She later studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, earning an Artist Diploma, followed by a master’s and Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pennsylvania. She was inducted into BGSU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2018 and received the Accomplished Graduate Award from College of Musical Arts in 2001.

Updated: 04/14/2023 03:38PM