The door closed behind Jennifer Higdon. She was in the office of her college conducting professor, Robert Spano, seeking advice about what to do. She had just heard back from the Curtis Institute of Music - they had accepted her application for graduate studies, but so had other music schools. She needed guidance. "I'm not letting you out of here," Spano said, until she agreed to accept the spot from Curtis.
“Kind of incredible, isn’t it?” says Jennifer Higdon. She has won a Pulitzer and a Grammy, her orchestral work blue cathedral has been performed more than 500 times, she is professor of composition at the Curtis Institute of Music, and is one of the world’s most-performed living classical composers. But when she arrived at college, she hadn’t heard of Igor Stravinsky. “I knew nothing,” she said.
Join Jill when she interviews a champion of contemporary music. Conductor and pianist Robert Spano has been Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 2001, and has gained national and international prominence, appearing with major orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and Europe.
Regarded as an advocate of contemporary composers, Maestro Spano has earned a reputation for ambitious and adventurous orchestral programming and presentation, and has made several prominent recordings with the ASO, garnering multiple Grammy Awards.