Boise Philharmonic's New Worlds 

With a 2010 Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composer for her Percussion Concerto under her very busy belt, Philadelphia's Jennifer Higdon joins Boise Philharmonic as a guest composer on Friday, Feb. 19, and Saturday, Feb. 20.

Higdon's concertos are performed more than 200 times across the world each year, so this Grammy--her first--is well-earned and certainly no surprise to her devotees. She, however, is still getting used to the idea.

"It feels very surreal to me," Higdon said. "I have to admit, I'm still adjusting to the idea ... usually it's a lot harder for a composer to [win] because there's only one category where composers are eligible, so I'm still amazed."

Higdon, 48, started writing music at the age of 21--a late start for composers--but she soon made up for lost time. With well over 100 compositions in her repertoire, she said that once she started writing, it was so addictive, she couldn't stop. And now, she couldn't if she wanted to. Some of the world's finest orchestras--like the London Philharmonic--perform her pieces, and they all want more. Even though she doesn't have time to write for writing's sake, the demand for her artistry gives her the luxury of only taking on pieces she's excited about.

"I have commissions through 2015," Higdon said. "There are so many things crammed into my schedule, I go from one project to the next. I actually turn down a lot of stuff, so what happens is when I'm being offered commissions, I think about whether I want to write for that combination or that artist. So I get to pick and choose among the offers, and that's a great thing."

Friday, Feb. 19, 8 p.m., $17-$36, Jewett Auditorium on the College of Idaho campus, 2112 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-459-5011, collegeofidaho.edu. Saturday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m., $21-$65, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, 208-426-1609, mc.boisestate.edu. For tickets, visit boisephilharmonic.org.

Carmina Burana and Higdon's Concerto for Orchestra from The Phoenix Symphony on Vimeo.

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