Hilary Hahn and Jennifer Higdon shared a love of 20th century music history when Higdon was Hahn’s professor at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. “Good teaching is actually a partnership,” Hahn told us.
Flash forward 15 years, and this student-teacher relationship has been transformed into a partnership with colleagues at the top of their field. Higdon won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for a concerto she composed especially for Hahn, who has released 11 solo albums and played more than 1,300 concerts the world over.
Jeffrey Brown talked with the women at the Curtis Institute of Music recently about their collaboration and the process behind it.
Hahn played Bach’s Sarabande in D minor for us in one of her old practice rooms at the institute:
Jeffrey Brown sat down with Higdon at a cafe across from the institute to talk about how she composes music and why it can take a whole day to write just three or four seconds of music. The entire composition process for Higdon’s concerto that won the Pulitzer took her two solid years. Watch this video after the jump.