Noted in the New York Times as part of "a new wave of female conductors in their late 20's through early 40's", Sarah Hicks's versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in "the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors". Since October of 2009 she has been Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra; 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 Josh Groban 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.
Ms. Hicks has guest conducted extensively both in the States and abroad, including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Brisbane Symphony, RTE (Dublin) Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic and Prime Philharmonic (Seoul, Korea). She led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in July 4th concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in 2012, 2013 and 2015. 2018-19 highlights include debuts with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Symphony, along with returns to Pittsburgh, Dallas, Toronto, Calgary and Dublin.
Ms. Hicks's past affiliations include positions with the North Carolina Symphony, Richmond Symphony and Florida Philharmonic. She 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.
A committed proponent of the performance of new music, Ms. Hicks conceived and completed a Microcommission Project, the first of its kind, with the Minnesota Orchestra 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 Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, soloists 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, yoga, her Papillon, cooking (and eating) with her husband, traveling and sketching.