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Sarah Hagen: Goldberg Variations – CAPITOL SEASON

October 20, 2023, 7:30 pm


Sarah Hagen: Goldberg Variations – CAPITOL SEASON

Adult $30
30 and Under $27

Canadian pianist Sarah Hagen’s extensive touring has taken her across Canada, to Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany and Italy, and twice to New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Awarded as Artist of the Year by both Ontario Contact (2017) and the BC Touring Council (2015), and mentioned by The Guardian (Charlottetown) as the Best Classical Performance of 2014, her interpretations have been described as “outstandingly inventive” [University of Waterloo Gazette], ”played flawlessly” [Review- Vancouver].

A visionary and an idealist, Sarah’s performances are conceptually innovative, involving photography, dance and spoken word. She is Artistic Director for Pro’ject Sound, a performance project involving live piano with large-scale projected images. Her collaboration “Exultation” with Canadian Slam Poetry Champion Brendan McLeod explored Rachmaninoff’s complete Opus 32 Preludes through poetry and storytelling.

An avid collaborator, Sarah has performed with cellist Ariel Barnes, violist Nicolò Eugelmi, cellist Phillip Hansen, violinist Robert Uchida, tenor Benjamin Butterfield, horn player Oto Carrillo, soprano Barbara Livingston, Trio Accord, Ballet Victoria, the Emily Carr String Quartet, the Bergmann Piano Duo, jazz pianist Søren Bebe, clarinettist Keith MacLeod, among many others. Sarah has appeared as soloist with the Victoria Symphony under the baton of Mei-Ann Chen, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony conducted by Mark Skazinetsky, the West Coast Symphony Orchestra with conductor Bujar Llapaj, the Prince Edward Island Symphony under the baton of Mark Shapiro, and the Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific with conductor Arthur Arnold. As a First Prize Winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Sarah was awarded the opportunity to perform solo at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in May 2013.

In 2021 Sarah released her fourth album, J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, which was heralded by Whole Note Magazine as “something to absolutely die for” and won two 2022 Music PEI awards for Instrumental Recording of the Year and Album Art of the Year. Her previous albums include Women of Note, featuring two female composers of the 19th century, which won the 2021 Music PEI Instrumental Recording of the Year; Devoted: Music of Robert & Clara Schumann with violinist Martin Chalifour, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Glass House Dancing, which was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards.

Sarah has been heard nationally on CBC Radio 2’s In Concert in a live recording with violinist Joan Blackman and cellist Ariel Barnes. She was also featured in a live recording and discussion of Schumann’s Papillons on CBC Radio One’s North by Northwest with host Sheryl MacKay. In Helsingborg, Sweden in 2006 she recorded with Swedish cellist Marit Sjödin, creating Concealed Diamonds, an album of masterworks for cello and piano. Sarah has completed five residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and enjoyed two terms there as collaborative pianist.

During her years on the west coast of Canada, Sarah founded nine concert series, curating each one individually, and inviting artists from across Canada and around the world to share the stage with her. She has toured throughout Sweden numerous times with cellist Marit Sjödin, violinist Ian Peaston, and Per Johansson, principal clarinet of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. Other international concerts of note include a recital at DePaul University with Oto Carrillo, hornist in the Chicago Symphony, Schumann Piano Quintet in Darmstadt with members of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and a performance at Carnegie Hall with Polish flautist Krzysztof Kaczka.

In addition to writing wine reviews for her blog, “ARTIST WINES! – Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets,” Sarah is an awkward but enthusiastic tap dancer. She also tours a one-woman musical comedy show called “Perk up, pianist!” of which the Edmonton Journal wrote, “Her comic timing is as solid as her musical meter.”

Sarah’s motivation is the belief that music has the power to be a window into our souls regardless of age or knowledge.


…it was immediately apparent that this would be a piano concert beyond the norm.“

“…the level of passion that Hagen possesses — when it comes to experiencing, interpreting and expressing art — is something quite extraordinary.”

“Hagen is one of the most expressive piano players that I have ever seen perform…”
— The Guardian (Charlottetown) March 2014

“Exquisite phrasing and a refreshingly imaginative approach make her one to watch.”
— Marcia Adair, TheOmniscientMussel.com

This show is made possible thanks to the support of our sponsors Prestige Lakeside Resorts, The Bridge FM, Yum Son Night Owl Hospitality, Nelson District Credit Union, Kootenay Co-op, Nelson Star and Hall Printing and our funders the BC Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, and the Government of Canada. We also gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the City of Nelson and the Province of British Columbia.

Performance venue:

The Capitol Theatre

421 Victoria Street
Nelson, BC V1L 5R2
Phone: (250) 352-6363

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October 20, 2023
7:30 pm
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