Monday, January 13, 2014

Enjoy Beautiful Classical Music in a Relaxed and Informal Setting

Pianist Sarah Hagen Performs at Horizon Stage on January 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Do you take pleasure in classical music but find it hard to enjoy in a concert setting? An Up Close and Personal recital by pianist Sarah Hagen may be just what you are looking for. While being treated to a musical feast for the ears, Sarah’s audience members also gain insight into the pianist's perspective and are encouraged to join the discussion. Sarah promotes an informal ambiance at her concerts, providing opportunities for listeners to ask questions, voice opinions, or just sit back and enjoy the magnificent music while sipping a warm beverage. For something different on a winter morning, join Sarah Hagen at Horizon Stage on Thursday, January 30. Tea, coffee, and goodies will be served at 9:45 a.m. and the concert will start at 10:30.

Sarah will focus her Horizon Stage recital on the romantic music, and story of Robert and Clara Schumann. Theirs is a tale of incredible talent and star-crossed love, infinite joy and devastating sadness, wrapped in beautiful music. Robert Schumann (1810 –1856) is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. He left the study of law to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist but focused his musical energies on composing after a hand injury.  Clara Schumann (1819 – 1896), also a talented composer, is considered to have been one of the most distinguished and influential pianists of the 19th century.  When her parents disapproved of their relationship, and forbade their marriage, they gained permission to marry through the German court system. They eventually had seven children together and a loving but rocky marriage. Robert’s growing mental instability led to a suicide attempt, incarceration, and death in an asylum. Over a 61-year concert career Clara is credited with changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. A tireless crusader for her husband’s music she was a strong matriarch who supported her family both financially and emotionally, though many hardships.

Sarah’s own star is steadily rising on the Canadian music scene. With expressive technique, an engaging personality, and startling fresh concepts, she is equally at home in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate concert setting. Her solo album, Glass House Dancing, was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards. As First Prize Winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Sarah performed solo at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in May 2013. Since moving to an artist loft in one of Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhoods in 2011 she has become deeply involved with intricate projects inspired by urban vitality and is motivated by the belief that music has the power to be a window into our souls, regardless of age or knowledge.

Enjoy tea, goodies, and a beautiful morning performance by Sarah Hagen, at Horizon Stage on Thursday, January 30. For an even more Up Close and Personal concert experience, seating will be general admission and a limited number of seats will be available at tables on the stage, right next to Sarah and the grand piano. Tickets are just $25 and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave) or by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090. Tickets can also be purchased online through Ticketpro

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