Praised by the press as ‘a magician' (WQXR, New York), of ‘unheard of depth of colours, range of expression and rhetorical flow' (American Record Guide), Sivan Magen is the only Israeli to have ever won the prestigious International Harp Contest in Israel. He also won the Pro Musicis International Award in New York and the Borletti Buitoni Trust's 2012 Award.
Notable performances include recitals in New York (Merkin Hall, Carnegie's Weill Hall), London (Wigmore Hall), Amsterdam (Musiekgebouw) and solo appearances in the USA, South America, Europe and Israel, including the world premiere of Haim Permont's Aviv Concerto with the Israel Philharmonic.
In addition to his fast-growing activity as a soloist, Magen is an avid chamber musician and has appeared in Paris (Salle Gaveau), New York (Allice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, Bargemusic), with Musicians from Marlboro, and at the Marlboro, Kuhmo, Giverny and Jerusalem International Chamber Music festivals, collaborating with artists such as Nobuko Imai, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Gary Hoffman, Michel Letiec, Charles Neidich, Carol Wincenc, Emmanuel Pahud, soprano Susanna Phillips and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets.
Magen is a founding member of Trio Tre Voce with flautist Marina Piccinini and violist Kim Kashkashian, as well as the Israeli Chamber Project, a group which performs in both outreach venues and major concert halls in Israel and the USA, including Enav Center in Tel Aviv, the Embassy Series in Washington DC and Carnegie's Weill Hall, Town Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Morgan Library and Bargemusic in New York City. The Israeli Chamber Project received the Israeli Ministry of Culture's Outstanding Ensemble Award.
Magen has released an album with the Israeli Chamber Project (Azica Records) as well as an all-Britten recording, Still Falls the Rain with tenor Nicholas Phan (Avie). Both of these albums received critical-acclaim with the latter being listed in the New York Times' ‘Best recordings of 2012'. Forthcoming recordings include an album with Trio Tre Voce (ECM). His performance of Ravel's Introduction et Allegro is featured on Marlboro's 60th Anniversary CD.
Magen is also gaining a reputation as a sought-after teacher, presenting masterclasses in the USA (The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute, The Peabody Institute, The New England Conservatory, Duquesne University, University of Texas), Colombia, Taiwan and Israel, the Utrecht Conservatory, London's Guildhall School and Trinity College, the Kuhmo Festival Academy in Finland and the Jerusalem Music Academy's International ‘Music in the Valley' seminar for strings. In addition, he has been invited to serve as member of the jury at the International Harp Contest in Israel, the first Netherlands International Harp Competition, the Lyon & Healy Awards and the Vera Dulova International Harp Competition in Moscow. He has served as Head of Jury at the National Harp Contest in Taiwan. He is currently a faculty member at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.
Born in Jerusalem, Magen studied the piano with Benjamin Oren and Talma Cohen and the harp with Irena Kaganovsky-Kessler at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance. After completing his military service, he continued his studies with Germaine Lorenzini in France before joining Isabelle Moretti's harp class at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) from which he graduated with a ‘Premier Prix'. He has since completed a Master of Music degree as a student of Nancy Allen at the Juilliard School. He currently resides in New York City.
Magen received numerous America-Israel Cultural Foundation Awards between 1995 and 2008.
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'...his reputation as a harpist with a demon technique has continued to grow.'more >>AllMusic
'Magen plays cleanly and precisely, making every note fully audible, even at the softest dynamics, and he articulates inner details that could be missed among the sweeping glissandi and dense chordal passages…delightful.'more >>The New York Times
'…Mr. Magen’s playing is always responsive and richly colored.'more >>Harp Column
'We’re particularly excited about French Reflections…Even if you’ve heard these works a gazillion times, you owe it to yourself to hear them again as performed by Magen.'Audiophile Audition
'A fine multichannel SACD of one of the most difficult solo instruments to record.'The Sunday Times
'pure enchantment...one may feel the poetic "mysteriousness" of the instrument is inseparable from sheer meatiness of technique.'more >>BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped'
'This is lovely, French harp music…[Tournier’s] Sonatine is stunning. The last movement requires great virtuosity, but that’s not a problem for the player who’s been called a magician when it comes to playing the harp. Here is Sivan Magen…the star of the harp world…glorious, glorious music, beautifully played.'Sinfini Music
'Sivan Magen's latest album is a Francophone fantasy of virtuosity and sensuality, says Alexander Rider, who finds that elusive je ne sais quoi in this young harpist's refined performances.'more >>Gramophone
'Magen seems destined to be the Zabaleta de nos jours, with a paintbox of colours allied to fabulous dexterity and nuanced phrasing.'more >>Pizzicato
'Eine traumhaft schöne Aufnahme, gut für eine Weltflucht...'more >>BBC Music Magazine
'...Magen uses every means at his disposal to create a compelling emotional narrative that draws the ear irresistibly on.'more >>SA-CD.net
'...fine musicianship and scintillating performances...'more >>ClassicFM 'New Releases Show with David Mellor'
Choice for the Curious: ‘I like Sivan's playing a lot on this…There is lots of interesting new music here.’Sinfini Music
'Harpist Sivan Magen is a dazzlingly virtuosic musician and in this recital disc has set out to show the flexibility of his instrument.'more >>Rick Jones' Music Blog
Disc of the Day: ‘Magen magics the listener into the Gothic horror story with dream swirls, violent tugs, inveigling melodies and an appreciation for Renie's feverish imagination.’more >>