Wake up with piano, horn

French horn player Oto Carrillo will play with Sarah Hagen, pianist, in Coquitlam on March 12. - EVergreen cultural centre
French horn player Oto Carrillo will play with Sarah Hagen, pianist, in Coquitlam on March 12.
— image credit: EVergreen cultural centre

A series of classical music morning recitals — now in its second season at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre — has gained so much popularity the organizer is now making plans for her third installment this fall.

Pianist Sarah Hagen told The Tri-City News she’s now finalizing the dates and artists for her Musical Mornings concerts and, as a bonus, will likely include an evening show as well.

Started in 2012, Musical Mornings has seen a mix of Canadian and international artists playing a range of instruments. This year, audience-goers will also hear from a horn player (Oto Carrillo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who will grace the stage with Hagen next week) and a second pianist (Isabelle O’Connell from Ireland, on April 9).

“The audience is continually growing,” Hagen said. “Enthusiasm for the series has been collecting over the last two seasons and I can see a real spirit of community grow amongst attendees.”

David Mann, Evergreen’s performing arts manager, said Musical Mornings is drawing a large demographic, from children to seniors. And he expects the Carrillo recital to be a full house with about 120 students signed up with the school bookings.

“The real measure of success, however, is the quality of the performances,” Mann said. “It is a tribute to Sarah Hagen’s ability to attract world-class solo artists who want to perform with her as well as to her considerable talents as a concert pianist and accompanist.”

He added, “Sarah creates a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere that is not as formal or intimidating as the traditional classical music concert. She mingles with the crowd during coffee and after the concert, and her onstage stories and descriptions of the repertoire are always fun and educational.”

As for the next week’s performance with Carrillo, Hagen said the pair has a program made up of works by French, German, British and American composers and will include Beethoven’s Horn Sonata.

The two met four years ago at the SOAP Festival (Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, now known as PRISMA) in Powell River, where they played a Mozart quintet. Last September, they joined forces for a concert at DePaul University in Chicago (where Carrillo is on faculty) and played Brahms’ horn trio with violinist Rachel Barton Pine.

After the Coquitlam show, the pair will have concerts in Courtenay, Surrey and Chilliwack as part of Hagen’s Musical Mornings tour.

• Tickets for Musical Mornings are $20 at Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam) by calling 604-927-6555 or online at evergreenculturalcentre.ca. The Carrillo/Hagen show is on Wednesday, March 12 at 10 a.m.



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