Countertenor Sam Higgins has received national recognition for his “innate musicality” and his “complex understanding of music.” He has been singing with orchestras since the age of 11. His most recent prizes include first place at the 2023 Schmidt Undergraduate Awards, second place in the International MIOpera Competition, and his win of the 2023 Barbara E. Maze award presented by the Handel and Haydn Society. In 2018, he was named a Grand Prize Winner in the Fidelity Young Artists Competition at the Boston Symphony Pops. The Grand Prize award included a solo performance of Bereite dich, Zion from the Christmas Oratorio of J.S. Bach with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Symphony Orchestra Pops in Symphony Hall. On February 29th, 2020, Sam performed Handel’s aria Dove sei, amato bene from ‘Rodelinda’ on NPR’s “From the Top.” In May of 2021, he was awarded first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. His win at the National Classical Singer Competition came in May of 2020, where he was then featured in the summer issue of Classical Singer Magazine. In February of 2019, he participated in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s High School Singers Intensive as one of only ten singers selected nationwide. In May of 2021, Higgins was awarded first place at the Boston Schmidt Vocal Competition. Sam attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Vocal program in the summer of 2019. In August of 2021, he entered the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music studying under Julia Faulkner and selected by baritone Eric Owens.
Higgins’ 2023-24 Season starts with his participation in Opera Philadelphia’s “Festival O’23,” where he will perform Britten’s Canticle II. He then performs the alto part in Handel’s Oratorio L’allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato at Curtis in mid-November. Throughout the year, he will perform Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Bach’s Ich habe genug (BWV 82) and Kreuz und Krone from BWV 12.
His 2022-23 Season included performances of Bach’s Cantata BWV 54 Widerstehe, doch der Sünde and Handel’s “Va Tacito” from Giulio Cesare with the New Hampshire Music Festival. As a member of the 2023 American Bach Soloists Academy, he performed Bach’s “Christi Glieder” from BWV 132, “Beruft gott selbst,” from BWV 88, and “Lobet den Herrn” in small chamber groups. With the large ABS Academy Orchestra, Higgins performed Bach’s incredible Magnificat (BWV 243), along with the Trauerode (BWV 198) and Jesu der du meine Seele (BWV 78) conducted by Jeffrey Thomas. At Curtis, composer Leigha Amick wrote a piece entitled “From the Memory of the Machines” for Higgins, scored for countertenor and electronics. He also performed small roles in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amore.
At Curtis in the 2021-22 season, he performed “Deep Blue,” a piece written for him by composer Adrian Wong. He also sang scenes from Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and all of Purcell’s From Hardy Climes and Dangerous Toils of War.
Between the ages of 12 and 14, Sam performed the boy soprano solo in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms nine times with seven different organizations. In December of 2015 at the age of 13, Sam was the boy soprano soloist with the New England Philharmonic under the direction of Richard Pittman in a performance of Robert Kapilow’s Elijah’s Angel with baritones David Kravitz and Dana Whiteside. Sam performed the boy soprano solo in the world premiere of Howard Franzin’s The Voice of Isaac in March of 2016 with Baritone David Kravitz and Coro Allegro under the direction of David Hodgkins. Also in 2016, Sam performed Peter Child’s Peace Poem after a Ugartic Inscription for the dedication of the Trygve Lie Plaza at the United Nations compound in N.Y.C. for the Prime Minister of Norway and other dignitaries.
Sam was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestras’ Children’s Chorus for the 2017 – 2018 season performances of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony and La Boheme with maestro Andris Nelsons. Sam started singing with Boston City Singers at the age of four and was a member for eleven years.
Sam has previously studied voice with Corey Hart at NEC, the Director of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton, Kerry Deal of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Ellie Shattles of the University of Texas at Austin, and Eiji Muira of MIT.