MINNEAPOLIS (June 18, 2014) — The Minnesota Orchestra on Wednesday announced that conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the Minnesota Orchestra’s “Live at Orchestra Hall” concert series through the 2016-17 season, extending her commitment to the Orchestra and its broad-spectrum series that celebrates popular music, jazz, Broadway classics, movie scores and world music, among other offerings.
Hicks, who leads the Orchestra this weekend in two programs — the Midtown Men and Pixar in Concert — will continue to conduct numerous concerts each season and oversee artistic planning for all Live concerts, as Principal Conductor of the series.
“I have been fortunate to hold my dream job with the Minnesota Orchestra: working with musicians of the highest caliber to present a tremendous variety of music for audiences,” Hicks said. “I’m proud of our accomplishments, and I have many ideas for where we’ll go next, so I am very happy to recommit to this collaboration over the next three seasons.”
“Sarah Hicks has distinguished herself with very creative programming as the head of this series,” said Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “I have always said that we must take care of all the genres of music we offer, and I believe Sarah will continue to lead this series and these audiences in positive new directions. She is an important part of our artistic team.”
Sarah Hicks joined the Minnesota Orchestra as assistant conductor in 2006, making history as the first woman to hold a titled conducting post with the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2009, she was named Principal Conductor of Pops and Presentations, succeeding trumpeter Doc Severinsen in that role, and devoted herself to programming a wide spectrum of popular music for orchestra audiences. She has conducted concerts featuring artists from Ben Folds, Rosanne Cash, and Sweet Honey in the Rock to Idina Menzel; produced and conducted eclectic programs that featured iconic music of the 1980s to “A Spring Time in Paris”; developed the Orchestra’s “Scandinavian Christmas” concerts; and led synced movie music performances featuring film scores from “West Side Story” to “Psycho.” Hicks additionally developed a reputation as the genial conductor of the Orchestra’s informal and informative “Inside the Classics” concert series, a role she will also resume next season.
“Sarah has proved herself to be a magnetic presence with audiences, whether through ‘Live at Orchestra Hall’ or ‘Inside the Classics’ concerts, and her work since 2009 has helped to broaden the organization’s reach in the community,” said President and CEO Michael Henson. “I believe she will continue to contribute a great deal to the Orchestra in the years ahead.”
Conducting highlights of Sarah Hicks’ current season include return engagements with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony, as well as debuts with orchestras including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Symphony and Alabama Symphony. In 2011 she toured with British rock icon Sting, leading 31 concerts over two months in venues throughout Europe.
Born in Tokyo and raised in Honolulu, Hicks received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University as a composition major; her AIDS Oratorio was premiered there in May 1993 and received a second performance at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum. She holds an artist’s diploma in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she today continues her affiliation as a staff conductor.
Sarah Hicks in Concert this Weekend
“The Midtown Men”, live at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra, Friday, June 20, 2014, 8 p.m., with Sarah Hicks, conductor’ Christian Hoff, vocals; Michael Longoria, vocals; Daniel Reichard, vocals; and. J. Robert Spencer, vocals.
Hicks conducts the Midtown Men, four stars from the Broadway cast of Jersey Boys, performing the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Beatles, and Motown with the Minnesota Orchestra. Tickets: $40-$89
“Pixar in Concert”, live at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saturday, June 21, 2014, 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 22, 2014, 2 p.m. at Orchestra Hall. Sarah Hicks, conductor, and
Pete Docter, hosts he sounds and sights of Pixar’s beloved animated movies come to Orchestra Hall in the Minnesota Orchestra’s first performances of this multimedia program featuring music from the studio’s 14 films.
Tickets: $25-$70; $21-$70 (youth ages 6 to 17; discount for Sunday performance only)