Sarah Hicks's versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place as an in-demand conductor across an array of genres. Since October of 2009 she has been Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra where she has been instrumental in creating new Pops productions while also heading the innovative classical series, "Inside the Classics”. Throughout her career she has collaborated with diverse artists, from Hilary Hahn and Dmitiri Hvorostovsky to Rufus Wainwright, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson; during the summer of 2011 she was on a two-month tour with Sting as conductor of the final leg of his Symphonicities Tour. Her album with rap artist Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra was released in November 2019.
A specialist in film music and the film in concert genre, she has premiered “Pixar in Concert” and the live to film version of DisneyPixar’s “Coco”; she recently conducted “Coco Live at the Hollywood Bowl” which will stream on Disney+ and recorded the orchestral underscore for “Little Mermaid Live!” for an ABC broadcast in November of 2019. Her concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra of film music, “The Morricone Duel”, was broadcast on DRTV, screened as part of the Rasthausplatz Film Festival in Vienna, released as an album in 2018 and has garnered over 40 million view on YouTube
A highly sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Hicks has worked extensively both in the States and abroad. Ensembles she has conducted include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Toronto Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Brisbane Symphony, RTE (Dublin) Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, and Malaysian Philharmonic, among others.
Ms. Hicks was on faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music from 2000 to 2005 and continued her affiliation as Staff Conductor until 2015. Her opera appearances have included Verdi's Aïda with the East Slovak State Opera Theater, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites and Handel's Alcina with the Curtis Opera Studio and a semi-staged production of Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel with the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as operas in concert with the Santa Fe Symphony and the RTE (Dublin) Orchestra.
A committed proponent of the performance of new music, Ms. Hicks conceived and completed a Microcommission Project, the first of its kind, in which hundreds of people made microdonations to fund a major new work by composer Judd Greenstein. Her recording project with the Vermont Symphony, "Triple Doubles", featuring music of Richard Danielpour and David Ludwig with soloists Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, was released on the Bridge Label.
Sarah Hicks was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Honolulu, HI. Trained on both the piano and the viola, she was a prizewinning pianist by her early teens. She received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University in composition. She holds an Artists' Degree in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with the late renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. In her spare time, Ms. Hicks enjoys running, hiking, her Papillon, cooking (and eating) with her husband, traveling and blogging.