Two more key leaders of the Minnesota Orchestra have signed contract extensions.
Conductor Sarah Hicks will continue leading the "Live at Orchestra Hall" series through the 2020-21 season, and composer Kevin Puts will continue as director of the orchestra's Composer Institute through 2019-20, the orchestra announced Wednesday morning. The news comes two days after the orchestra announced a contract extension for music director Osmo Vänskä.
Hicks, who joined the orchestra in 2006 and was hired as principal pops conductor in 2009, will continue to oversee the orchestra's "Live at Orchestra Hall" series, which includes popular music, jazz and movie scores. This weekend, for example, Hicks is conducting the orchestra's live score to "Star Trek." (In our recent article about the growing popularity of symphony orchestras playing to movies, Hicks described the tricky, technical work of conducting such concerts. "I liken it to playing a demented video game," she said then.) Hicks also conducted Dessa's sold-out concerts with the orchestra in April.
Puts has been the director of the Composer Institute, a professional composer training program, for three years. In 2012, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his first opera, "Silent Night."
The orchestra did not release the financial terms of the contract extensions. In a press release, Osmo Vänskä, the orchestra's music director, said "The Minnesota Orchestra is fortunate to have musicians the caliber of Sarah Hicks and Kevin Puts on our artistic roster to take care of the different types of concerts we offer."