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Higdon’s Viola Concerto: A Library of Congress Commission and a Grammy Nom!

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Curtis Chamber Orchestra conductor Robert Spano, center, and composer Jennifer HIgdon, right, recognize violist Roberto Diaz following a world-premiere performance of Higdon’s Viola Concerto at the Library of Congress, March 7, 2015. Photo by Shawn Miller.

The 2018 Grammy nominations were announced this morning, and among the lineup you can find a work co-commissioned by the Library of Congress! Pulitzer Prize winner and American composer Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto was co-commissioned by the Library of Congress (with support from the family of Cameron and Jane Baird, and John J. Medveckis), the Curtis Institute of Music (with support from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia), the Aspen Music Festival, and the Nashville Symphony for the 90th anniversary season of Concerts from the Library of Congress. The Viola Concerto commemorated the 325th birthday of the “Tuscan-Medici” viola and received its premiere performance on March 7, 2015 in historic Coolidge Auditorium with Roberto Diaz (viola), Robert Spano (conductor), and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra. The debut recording of Higdon’s Viola Concerto is nominated for two Grammy awards – as part of the Best Classical Compendium, and as Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Interested in hearing the work’s premiere performance in Coolidge Auditorium? Enjoy the webcast of that March 7, 2015 performance. Want to know more about the work? We can help you with that as well – we interviewed Higdon before the performance, so you can hear her talk about her career and her Viola Concerto. The Performing Arts Reading Room holds Higdon’s score with hand-written revisions, available to researchers today and preserved for future generations of scholars to study.

Robert Spano conducts the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, with Roberto Diaz playing the 1690 Stradivarius “Tuscan-Medici” viola, during a world-premiere performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto at the Library of Congress, March 7, 2015. Photo by Shawn Miller.
Composer Jennifer Higdon embraces violist Roberto Diaz following the world-premiere performance of Higdon’s Viola Concerto in Coolidge Auditorium, March 7, 2015. Photo by Shawn Miller.

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