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Woman conductors: the power list

Nielsen Still Fav_1 Slipped Disc by Norman Lebrecht

 

It’s 2016 and we no longer get excited about a music director turning out to be non-male. Every few months, it seems, another young woman conductor rises to a position of authority.

 

Yet, when we survey the current field, we find no more than half a dozen women near the top of the profession and barely 20 in contention for real leadership.

 

It’s 2016. Way to go.

 

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A day in the constant life of Sarah Ioannides

daylife_ioannides_A1_leadTacoma News Tribune by Rosemary Ponnekanti

 

Anyone who thinks they have a busy life should follow Sarah Ioannides around for a day.

 

The Tacoma Symphony’s music director is in town this month to finish up her second season with the orchestra, conducting the season finale concert Saturday in the Pantages and a children’s concert.

 

But there’s much more to being a professional conductor than just waving the baton on a Saturday night. Shuffling her family among three cities, juggling multiple orchestras and somehow fitting in the odd cup of tea, Ioannides has the organizational powers of a general, and driving ambition and musical talent.

 

The News Tribune followed the 44-year-old British conductor around Tacoma earlier this week, and discovered that being Sarah Ioannides is a very complicated thing…

 

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Tacoma Symphony plays Stravinsky’s famous ‘Rite of Spring’ for the first time

Rite of Spring TSOTacoma News Tribune by Rosemary Ponnekanti

 

As music director Sarah Ioannides walked into the first rehearsal for Saturday night’s Tacoma Symphony concert, she had just four rehearsals ahead of her to prepare the orchestra for a piece that’s still as shocking as it was when it premiered in 1913, but which the symphony as a group has never, apparently, played: Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.”

 

Yet, while the Paris premiere caused ballerina drama and an audience riot, “The Rite of Spring” is now part of the standard repertoire for good reason. Driving, passionate and earthy, it encapsulates a musical time period when all the rules were being broken and that connection to our primal selves that’s just below the surface of civilization.

 

Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” on the other hand, is possibly the best-known guitar concerto ever, used for countless films and commercials, and sways between lyrical Spanish melodies and dramatic orchestral moments.

 

(Soloist Pepe) Romero, honored by kings, heads of state and major institutions, is part of the world’s leading guitar-playing family, and has more than 60 recordings to his credit.

 

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