Award-winning composer, Jennifer Higdon (PH.D. in Composition '94), received the 2019 Creative Spirit Award for her life-long commitment to and excellence in the arts. She received her PhD and master’s degrees from Penn following a certificate from the Curtis Institute of Music and bachelor’s from Bowling Green State University. A Pulitzer Prize and two-time Grammy Award winner, Dr. Higdon is one of this country’s most frequently performed living composers. As the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition at the Curtis Institute of Music and a frequent composer-in-residence at universities throughout the country, she is known as a dynamic and committed teacher. One of the nation’s most distinguished queer composers, she has also been an engaging role model for the LGBT community. In addition to returning to Penn for music department colloquia and University talks, she welcomed Penn students into a behind-the-scenes experience at Opera Philadelphia’s production of her opera, Cold Mountain.