Conductor/Pianist Oliver Hagen was born in New York City in 1986. In 2010 Hagen was named Assistant Conductor of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. During his time there, Hagen worked with Pierre Boulez, former music director Susanna Mälkki, and current music director Matthias Pintscher, among others. Hagen has appeared with American and French ensembles and orchestras such as the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre National de Lyon, American Composers’ Orchestra, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Firebird Ensemble, Ensemble Linea, Ensemble soundinitiative, and the Orchestra of the League of Composers. Hagen has served as Assistant Conductor at the Paris Opéra Comique, the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Paris Conservatory Orchestra, and “Face the Music,” a contemporary music ensemble for high school students, at the Kaufman Center in NYC.
As a pianist in Signal Ensemble, Hagen has appeared at venues ranging from Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Ojai Music Festival, the June in Buffalo Festival, and the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood to the Bang on a Can Marathon and Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Hagen has worked closely with composers such as Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Charles Wuorinen, and Oliver Knussen. Hagen can be heard on two Signal releases: a CD/surround-sound DVD of music by Lachenmann, with the composer as soloist in “…Zwei Gefühle…” (Mode); Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe’s Shelter (Canteloupe). Recently, Hagen performed John Zorn’s “…do what thou wilt…” for solo piano at the Stone in NYC, and Boulez’s Douze Notations and Carter’s 90+ at Miller Theatre—both part of Signal Ensemble’s 2013-2014 season.
Hagen has a strong association as a pianist with the Lucerne Festival Academy. In September of 2009, Hagen appeared as one of the solo pianists in Pierre Boulez’s Répons, under the direction of the composer at the KKL in Lucerne. The 2007-08 Season brought an international tour, also under the direction of Pierre Boulez, in which Hagen performed Boulez’s sur Incises, which was heard at venues including the Philharmonie in Essen, Germany and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Hagen holds a bachelor of music degree in clarinet and composition, and a master of music degree in conducting—both from the Eastman School of Music.