“The news of my appointment comes with great happiness to me,” said Sarah Ioannides. “The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra found a way into my heart in February 2013. The experience we had making music together was very special that week. Not only did I find great chemistry with the musicians, but also felt at one with the audience that evening, and with the entire community during my weeklong visit. It will be my great honor to work with the Tacoma Symphony in partnership with its superb team of musicians, staff, board, and supporters. I embrace my future in Tacoma with excited anticipation of changing times for orchestras. May we be part of the wave that brings music to more and more people’s hearts from all walks of life, and sustain the gifts of music through engaging live performances over the next decade.” – Tacoma Arts
[…] The Orchestra’s board searched about two years for a new conductor. Sarah Ioannides will succeed Harvey Felder, leaving the orchestra next June after 20 years as director. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape since 1946. With 80 contracted musicians and an affiliated community chorus, the TSO brings music into the city with 200.000 inhabitants, located 50 km southwest from Seattle in the State of Washington. – pizzicato
“We’re very excited, very enthusiastic…” TSO board President Dick Ammerman has said “… she’ll bring a real vibrancy and passion to the symphony, which will be appreciated not only by the board and musicians but by the community.” – THE VIOLIN CHANNEL
“The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra announced today the appointment of Sarah Ioannides as their next Music Director. The appointment comes after an international search spanning two years and encompassing more than 100 prospects. […] Her initial contract with the TSO spans a full five seasons, effective on July 1, 2014. She is already at work with TSO officials in planning her inaugural season, which is slated to open on Saturday, October 25, 2014.” – Tacoma Arts
Sarah Ioannides tops field of 120 candidates, starts 5-year contract in July
“Sarah had a wonderful chemistry with the orchestra, ” said Greg Youtz, a music professor at Pacific Lutheran University and a member of the selection committee. “We were all impressed by her inspired craftsmanship working with them. I think they realized . . . they’d done something really special.”
“She’s a very fine musician, really passionate, ” said concertmaster Svend Ronning, another committee member. “We felt it, and the audience felt it.”
Another factor that earned Ioannides the position is her desire to bring the orchestra into the community.
“She’s a fabulous fit with the TSO in terms of where she is with her career and the exciting ideas she brings, ” Youtz said. “She seems at first to exhibit the classic British reserve, but then you notice the mischievous twinkle in her eye. She was asking about alternative venues . . . like the (Museum of Glass) hot shop or the Armory, and she’s worked a lot with composers so we’ll see some new music.”
The board also hopes Ioannides will bring to Tacoma the passion for working with kids that has seen her launch efforts such as symphony art competitions and work with school orchestras. That Ioannides is the symphony’s first female director is a bonus, he added.
“The role of music director has been male-dominated in Europe, ” Ammerman noted. “In the States there are more (opportunities), but there’s a long way to go. I’m excited that we can be at the forefront of that in Tacoma. She’ll bring a different type of vitality. It’ll also give us bragging rights.” – The News Tribune, Tacoma