Comox Valley pianist Sarah Hagen has been honoured with the BC Touring Council’s 2015 Artist of the Year Award, presented during the annual Pacific Contact performing arts conference and trade show in Burnaby.
This award is given to an artist or company who toured B.C. within the past year, demonstrates artistic excellence in their discipline, and brings the highest degree of professionalism in touring.
Hagen co-presents the popular Mattina Musica concerts with the Sid Williams Theatre Society, part of the society’s Blue Circle Series of artistic programming. Italian for “morning music,” Mattina Musica is a multi-concert series of classical music, with each performance taking place on a Monday morning.
Hagen hosts the series and is joined each time by a world-renowned special guest. The musicians, all known for their perceptive, eloquent, and entertaining commentary, take time to offer personal insights into the music. The coming 2015-2016 season will mark the sixth year of Mattina Musica in the Comox Valley.
“Sarah Hagen has been a big part of classical music here from her CYMC days to the present,” said Deborah Renz, general manager of the Sid Williams Theatre. “She is a brilliant, passionate, and adventurous performer, and has revitalized our classical music programming at the Sid. Her Mattina Musica coffee concert series, and selection of world-class guest artists, has opened up a treasure trove of classical music. This is the province’s highest award for a touring artist; Sarah exemplifies what this award is all about.”
A Comox Valley native, Hagen has been heard in concert halls and on the airwaves throughout North America and Europe. Her interpretations have been described as “outstandingly inventive,” performed with “infinite skill.” She curates, hosts, and performs in numerous concert series in B.C. and Alberta, sharing the stage with artists from around the world.
An avid collaborator, Hagen has performed with cellist Phillip Hansen, violinist Robert Uchida, tenor Benjamin Butterfield, Trio Accord, Ballet Victoria and the Emily Carr String Quartet.
As a First Prize winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Sarah earned the chance to perform solo at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in May, 2013. Her debut solo album, Glass House Dancing, was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards.