Classical music composer who was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto. She also received a Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Contemporary Composition for her Percussion Concerto.
She was a self-taught flautist who performed in concert band in high school, but had minimal exposure to classical music until college. She majored in flute performance at Bowling Green State University.
She used Charles Frazier's "Cold Mountain" as the basis for an opera that was commissioned by Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia.
Her family was residing in Brooklyn when she was born, but they soon moved to Atlanta where she spent the first 10 years of her life. They then relocated to Tennessee. She met her partner Cheryl Lawson in high school.
She studied composition under George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania.