Sarah Hicks Asian American Musician Not Your Grandmother's conductor Classical Musician JadeLuckClub jade luck club Celebrating Asian American Creativity

Sarah Hicks Conducts with Sting and John Mayer: Not Your Grandmother’s Conductor!

Asian Am Musicians

Sarah Hicks Asian American Musician Not Your Grandmother's conductor Classical Musician JadeLuckClub jade luck club Celebrating Asian American Creativity

My husband was reading Harvard Magazine the other day (ok, we keep it in the bathroom) and pointed out an article on Sarah Hicks. Who is she? Child prodigy pianist. Also plays viola. And conducts … from Prokofiev to Sting to John Mayer! She’s redefining the dying world of classical music in a new and exciting way.


“Born in her mother’s native country, Japan, Hicks grew up mostly in Hawaii as a child-prodigy pianist, playing music rather than leading it. When she developed chronic tendonitis as a teenager, she thought her music career was over. It hurt too much to play the piano, and her father found her crying in her room one day. His advice: “Stop crying. You can still hold a stick.” Harvard Magazine

“Her latest crossover coup, conducting Sting’s Symphonicity Tour on 30 European dates this past summer.”Harvard Magazine


“You should blog on her,” he told me. The article is here.  What is so cool about her is that she rocks it! Literally, as in The Police.


This is what the LA Philharmonic wrote about her: Noted in The New York Times as part of “a new wave of female conductors in their late 20s through early 40s,” SARAH HICKS’ versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in “the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors.” She joined the Minnesota Orchestra as Assistant Conductor beginning in the 2006/07 season, where she is lead conductor of the new “Inside the Classics” series, and concurrently holds the position of Staff Conductor at the Curtis Institute of Music. She completed a two-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in June of 2007. A cover conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra since 2003, she has guest conducted on their Family Concerts, Millennium Stage, and summer series. She has collaborated with numerous soloists, including Hilary Hahn, Nigel Kennedy, and Doc Severinsen; in addition, she has acted as assistant conductor to such luminaries as James Levine, Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Temirkanov.

Sarah Hatsuko Hicks was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Honolulu, HI. Trained on both the piano and viola, she was a prizewinning pianist by her early teens. She received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University as a composition major; her AIDS Oratorio was premiered at Harvard University in May of 1993 and received a second performance at the Fogg Art Museum. She holds an Artist’s Degree in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. Hicks’ talents have been recognized with numerous prizes and scholarships; she received the Thomas Hoopes Prize for composition and the Doris Cohen Levy Prize for conducting from Harvard University, and she was the recipient of the Helen F. Whitaker Fund Scholarship and a Presser Award during her time at Curtis.

In her spare time, Hicks enjoys running, yoga, her two large dogs, and singing in garage bands, including a pop/punk band, Cowpath 40.

The complete post is here.

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