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SARAH HICKS’ versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in “the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors.” Noted in The New York Times as part of “a new wave of female conductors in their late 20s through early 40s,” she was named Principal Conductor, Pops and Presentations, of the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2009; in addition to conducting most pops and special presentations, she is instrumental in creating new pops productions, while also heading the innovative series “Inside the Classics” and “Common Chords.” Hicks concurrently holds the position of Staff Conductor at the Curtis Institute of Music.
Throughout her career she has collaborated with diverse soloists, from Jaime Laredo and Hilary Hahn to Smokey Robinson, Ben Folds, Chris Botti, Idina Menzel, Natalie Merchant, John Mayer, and Tiempo Libre, whom she led in the world premiere of Rumba Sinfónica. Last summer with the San Francisco Symphony, Hicks premiered Disney’s Pixar in Concert, a production for symphony orchestra that she will also premiere in Europe this winter. In 2011 she conducted Sting’s two-month European tour of Symphonicity.
Hicks has guest conducted extensively both in the U.S. and abroad, including the Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, National, Detroit, Milwaukee, Columbus, Vermont, North Carolina, Charleston, Richmond, Delaware, and Des Moines symphonies as well as the Los Angeles, Fort Wayne, Reno, and South Carolina philharmonics along with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra. Hicks appeared at the 2012 World Economic Forum in St. Petersburg conducting the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in concert with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sumi Jo, and Jackie Evancho.
She is a committed proponent of the performance of new music; the 2010/11 season marked the beginning of an innovative project conceived by Hicks: the Musical Microcommission Project, in conjunction with the “Inside the Classics” series of the Minnesota Orchestra, is an initiative to bring a major new work to the stage of Orchestra Hall with funding via hundreds of “micro” donations from music lovers across Minnesota and beyond.