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Posted: April 10, 2019

Perk up! Pianist Friday at Key City

Cranbrook is in for a real treat Friday, April 12 as Sarah Hagen takes the stage with her one-woman show: Perk Up! Pianist.

Canadian pianist Sarah Hagen has performed in concert halls and has been heard on broadcasts throughout North America and Europe. Awarded as Ontario Contact’s 2017 Artist of the Year and the British Columbia Touring Council’s 2015 Artist of the Year, and mentioned by The Guardian (Charlottetown) as the Best Classical Performance of 2014, her interpretations have been described as “outstandingly inventive” [University of Waterloo Gazette], ”played flawlessly” [ReviewVancouver] and “with great sensitivity and heart” [Vernon Morning Star].

A visionary and an idealist, Sarah presents conceptually innovative performances, involving photography, dance and spoken word. She is Artistic Director for Pro’ject Sound, a performance project involving live piano with large-scale projected images. Her collaboration “Exultation” with Canadian Slam Poetry Champion Brendan McLeod explores Rachmaninoff’s complete Opus 32 Preludes through poetry and storytelling, and premiered to critical acclaim in February 2017.

Sarah premiered her one-woman musical comedy show to critical acclaim in the summer of 2016, touring it to various Canadian fringe festivals. Described as “one of the best hours I’ve ever spent at the Fringe” [The Coast Halifax], “Perk up, pianist!” tells the tale of a touring classical musician remaining optimistic in the midst of challenging and ridiculous situations. Of the show’s debut at the Toronto Fringe Festival, Montreal Rampage wrote, “Hagen reminds us the beauty of how an honest solo performance can make you so easily fall in love with its performer.”

Her performance is beautifully set up. The first half will tickle your funny bones as she shares stories and quips that has the crowd giggling and guffawing in turns. The second half features her superlative musicality as she explores Rachmaninoff, Debussy and more.

In addition to writing wine reviews for her blog, “Artist Wines – Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets,” Sarah is an enthusiastic tap dancer. Her motivation is the belief that music has the power to be a window into our souls, regardless of our age or musical knowledge. “When as a child I first understood what it meant to pull notes off a page, throw them into the air, and wonder at their magical effects, I knew that music would forever be my life:  my oxygen, my solace, my offering. I was recently asked what inspires me. This is both an impossible question and a no-brainer. Everything inspires me: my astounding colleagues, strange dreams after a midnight feast with friends, three words strung together in a novel, a ridiculous joke, baskets of poignant memories. Let’s see… What else describes me, in 10 words or less? Well… to be honest, I take my whiskey neat.”

Tickets are available at the Key City Theatre box office and online.

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