Conductor and pianist Oliver Hagen was born in New York City. He can be heard as a pianist on the 2017 Grammy-winning album of Steve Reich’s music by Third Coast Percussion (Cedille Records). He recently toured with the percussion ensemble to Italy, performing at the MiTo Festival in Milan and Turin.
Between 2010 and 2012, Hagen was the assistant conductor of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. While there, he worked with Pierre Boulez, Susanna Mälkki, and Matthias Pintscher, among others. While with the ensemble, Hagen conducted on two concerts, served as assistant conductor for the 2012 production of Re Orso at the Paris Opéra Comique, and served as assistant conductor at the Lucerne Festival Academy and the Paris Conservatory Orchestra.
Hagen has served as guest conductor for the Mannes Preparatory Division Philharmonic. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Brad Lubman for many years. Hagen earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Eastman as well. His bachelor’s degree is in clarinet and composition.
As one of the pianists in Ensemble Signal since 2008, Hagen has recorded music by Steve Reich (for Harmonia Mundi), Helmut Lachenmann (for Mode records), and David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe (for Canteloupe). Hagen has worked directly with the above composers, as well as Charles Wuorinen, John Zorn, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Roger Reynolds, and Kaija Saariaho. Having had a strong association with the Lucerne Festival Academy, Hagen took part in the 2009 performance of Pierre Boulez’s Répons at the Lucerne KKL, as one of the solo pianists, with the composer at the podium. This will always be one of his most-cherished memories.
Since 2012, Hagen has appeared as conductor with ensembles and orchestras such as the musicians of the Orchestre National de Lyon, American Composers’ Orchestra, the New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble LPR (le Poisson Rouge), East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble mise-en, Firebird Ensemble, Ensemble soundinitiative, and the Orchestra of the League of Composers.