Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon recalls the moment when she received a request to write a work for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s brass section: “Wow. The low brass section of the Chicago Symphony? Yeah, I’ll do it!”
As a child, she had grown up with the sound of the CSO “in my ears.” Her parents gave her a cassette player and a copy of the CSO, conducted by Fritz Reiner, in The Pines of Rome and Pictures from an Exhibition. “I listened to that cassette tape about 5,000 times,” she said in this video interview, which was shot at her studio in Philadelphia. “[The brass sound of the CSO] is engrained in my DNA. It’s there naturally.”
Hear for yourself when the CSO, led by Riccardo Muti, performs the world premiere of Higdon’s Low Brass Concerto, featuring soloists Jay Friedman, Michael Mulcahy, Charles Vernon and Gene Pokorny, in subscription concerts Feb. 1-3. The work also will be performed on stops of the CSO’s winter tour.
Video capture and editing by Samantha London