Sarah Ioannides Remembering Twelve Years as Music Director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, 2005-2017April 23, 2017
When Sarah Ioannides steps down from the podium after conducting her final performance at Twichell Auditorium, she will leave a lasting legacy of innovation and inspiration. As the 68th season of the symphony comes to a close, the Maestro will conclude her 12 years serving as Music Director of the SPO. Since 2005, when the orchestra officially changed its name from the Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic (GSP) to the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO), she has worked with the ensemble to offer creative and educational programs that engaged audience members, young and old. Her signature style of presenting well-known masterpieces alongside new works of classical music helped the SPO to develop an impressive, distinct sound, emerging as one of the most highly esteemed orchestras in the region.
The first World Culture Summit is taking place this week in Abu Dhabi, and among the 300
participants from 80 countries is Sarah Ioannides, music director of Symphony Tacoma.
Ioannides is the only female conductor of a professional orchestra in the United States invited to the summit hosted by the United Arab Emirates. The goal of the summit is bringing diverse cultural leaders together to brainstorm how to solve world challenges through the arts.
“I am finding the summit extremely positive and highly engaging and stimulating thus far,”
said Ioannides via email this week. “There are many powerful and unique stories of artists and cultures being shared, healthy discussions about the state of the arts, and today we began to formulate the questions we want to ask and to resolve as a group … to tackle key issues our world now faces.”
Award-winning violinist Kristin Lee – a rising star in the world of classical music – will make her debut with Symphony Tacoma next week. Lee will be a featured soloist during “Classics III: Mozart & Tchaikovsky,” a program that will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, at Gig Harbor’s Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26, at Broadway Center’s Rialto Theater.
The shows will mark Lee’s fourth time collaborating with conductor and Symphony Tacoma Musical Director Sarah Ioannides in a relatively short span.
“I got two opportunities within a month to work with her,” Ioannides recalled last week, speaking by phone from home in New Haven, Conn. “We got on great. We had a lovely time and developed a fondness and respect. … She is a very intelligent, sophisticated, thoughtful artist with just unbelievably phenomenal technique and richness to her musicianship.”
When the 2016/2017 season concludes, the Spartanburg Philharmonic will bid adieu to its Music Director of 12 seasons, Sarah Ioannides.
Under her baton, the SPO has seen significant artistic growth and increased community engagement which is important for the future of a premier musical establishment.
Reflecting on her tenure here, Ioannides says “Spartanburg is and always will be an important and very special part of my life – not only for me but for my family as well.” Leaving Spartanburg is bittersweet for Ioannides and her family. She and Scott Hartman, her husband of eleven years have three children, Audrey, Elsa, and Karl. The children often travel with Ioannides and in 2014 started tri-city schooling, attending school in CT, WA, and the Spartanburg Day School.
Sarah Ioannides is somewhat of a modern mom, with literally, a highflying career and what she considers a devoted parent who will go extremes for the kids’ sake. Orchestrating work, travel, schooling and parenting for her family and a helpful au pair is no small feat
but Sarah manages it with the same grace that she wields her baton.
What strikes one most about Ms. Ioannides is the sense of genuine gratitude and warmth she feels towards the Spartanburg community and the generosity of the SPO, Converse College, and the Spartanburg Day School in allowing her to share her talents with us the last twelve years. When the SPO baton passes, we may feel a sense of loss, but a sense of great pride too for the journey with Maestro Sarah.
South Sound Talk
The name change is in fact part of a completely new brand presentation that includes au courant logo, messaging and color palette. The refreshed brand as a whole is intended to graphically embody the significant transformation the organization has undergone in recent seasons—particularly since the introduction of Music Director Sarah Ioannides in 2014.
The symphony will kick off the new name and new season with a Friday-night gala at Tacoma Art Museum and a Saturday concert at the Pantages, featuring violinist Vadim Gluzman and an Eastern European program connecting past and present.
“It’s an exciting time for the symphony,” said director Sarah Ioannides. “Becoming Symphony Tacoma is separating the past from the future. This is a time where we can take our vision to the next step. It’s more than just the name. It’s about the fresh thinking the symphony is doing about what we can become.”
What they can become, according to the board-agreed statements that informed the new name, logo and even color choice, is an orchestra that is deeply rooted in community while “going beyond tradition to surprise and captivate.”
Featured by the League of American Orchestras in “The Hub”
On Saturday, “Sarah Ioannides will kick off her final season with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra by using music she used in the first symphony she ever conducted,” writes Leena Dbouk in Thursday’s (10/13) Spartanburg Herald-Journal (S.C.)….
“It began about 15 months ago with a wonderful performance I heard featuring James Carter andRoberto Sierra’s Caribbean Rhapsody at the Oregon Symphony!” On the eve of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s August 27 world premiere of Caribbean Rhapsody’s new chamber orchestra version, conductor Sarah Ioannides shares some thoughts about Sierra’s popular work.
The performance features internationally known saxophonist James Carter, who in 2002, who premiered the work its original chamber ensemble version with the Detroit Symphony. Ioannides conducts this chamber orchestra premiere as part of the ensemble’s “SummerMusik” Festival.
On Saturday, the Chamber Orchestra presents Darius Milhaud’s jazzy “La Création du Monde” (“The Creation of the World”), part of a program conducted and curated by Sarah Ioannides, a candidate for music director.
It is just one element of Ioannides’ ambitious program, which includes the world premiere of “Caribbean Rhapsody,” performed by saxophonist James Carter. Carter will also play the prominent saxophone part in Milhaud’s “Creation of the World.”
Cincinnati Enquirer by Janelle Gelfand
The Enquirer asked three questions of each of the five candidates who will be auditioning for the job of music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra….
What is one thing that would you like to see in the Chamber Orchestra’s future if you are named music director?
Sarah Ioannides: The greatest of success for the CCO as a result of Artistic Vibrancy! I wish for Cincinnati to come behind and support an organization that has even more potential to thrive through exciting projects, new creations, great synergy in partnerships, new energy and excitement, all of which could lead to new funding, recognition and most of all opportunities for the people of Cincinnati and its summer visitors to experience something world-class, unique, and draw people to the region because of its renown.
The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra is auditioning candidates for the position of music director during its second annual Summermusik. Four conductors will lead the CCO and curate a chamber music program during the festival, Aug. 13-Sept. 1.
Movers & Makers presented a series of questions to learn about each candidate and how they plan to approach this new position, if selected. These are not part of the formal audition process, but are intended to give candidates a chance to share their perspective on this opportunity with the public.
What is your overall programming philosophy?
Ioannides) My goal is to create a platform from which the listener can gain maximum satisfaction, understanding and appreciation of the music. I look to make multiple connections to a concept or theme to increase their receptivity and for elements to produce the greatest artistic vibrancy. Diversity, variety of color and styles help pair the choices for the most appealing and interesting menu that satisfy as many different tastes as possible. I consider the different audiences, their responses, the set-up, positioning of the works, extra-musical possibilities, and all that is important to the best possible effect on the audience.
This month, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service announced $1,067,500 in support of 50 grants in 27 states, including an award of $10,000 to Tacoma Symphony to support the commission of a new symphonic poem written in homage to Mount Rainier by Puyallup native Daniel Ott.
“As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, this year we are celebrating the magnificence of America’s national cultural treasures through art,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The Imagine Your Parks grant program unites our mission with the National Park Service by connecting art projects with the natural, historic and cultural settings of the National Park System and will inspire a new generation to discover these special places and experience our great heritage.”
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.
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…
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.
The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Tacoma Youth Symphony will make history Sunday as well as music. In a Pantages Theater concert, the professional and youth orchestras will play Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” side by side on the stage — their first time ever. The concert, which also includes Tchaikovsky and a marimba concerto by the youth orchestra, is free as a thank-you to the community.
For the young musicians, who get a two-hour rehearsal alongside their professional colleagues under director Sarah Ioannides, it’s an invaluable learning experience.
“I really believe in supporting and cultivating our young musicians,” said Ioannides. “It will be a great experience for the audience, and for both the young and professional musicians.”
Passion project: Three musical organizations bring contemporary settings of the crucifixion story to TacomaMarch 17, 2016
During Lent, many choirs around the Christian world perform a “Passion” — a musical retelling of Jesus’ death by voices and instruments. It might be Bach’s massive “St. Matthew Passion,” or maybe the “St. John.”
But this month, Tacoma will see a musical event usually reserved for much bigger cities: three Passions by major contemporary composers in 10 days.
(…) new Tacoma Symphony director Sarah Ioannides — who assisted composer Tan Dun in preparing choirs, directing production and once even conducting the “Water Passion” in its first performances — was exploring the Olympic Peninsula with her family after her Tacoma debut. At Rialto Beach, she found exactly the kind of flat, resonant stones she’d always had to find for the choir to play in “Water Passion” performances, and she decided to bring the work to Tacoma.
Watch a video about the three passion projects here!
The music director of orchestras in Spartanburg and Tacoma was born in Australia, studied in Oxford, Philadelphia, New York and St Petersburg, and is putting in dates for Europe. She talks to Toby Deller.
“For me as music director, the key really is to absorb yourself in the community and learn about it. Certainly in Tacoma and Seattle it’s a very different mentality and energy. Yet the approach is the same: to get to know what people are passionate about and make connections so that the orchestra’s not isolated.”
The name of French composer Claude-Achille Debussy may not rattle off your tongue, but you do know his work. “Clair de Lune,” from Suite Bergamasque, boasts one of the most beautiful and adored melodies in Western history. Almost as well-known is “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” a 10-minute symphonic poem that appears in such diverse entertainments as Flashdance, Ren & Stimpy, and True Blood.
The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra conductor Sarah Ioannides (pronounced “Ee-oh-NEED-eez”) offers this classic, along with the equally familiar “Symphony No. 6” or “Pastoral Symphony” by Ludwig van Beethoven, Feb. 28. She’s also thrown in a bridging piece, “Harp Concerto in G Minor” by Elias Parish Alvars, featuring Valerie Mussolini-Gordon, principal harpist for the Seattle Symphony.
“The common theme in this program,” Ioannides explained, “is (the composer’s) connection to nature … They’re nature lovers. Being out in the countryside, or, for Debussy, being by the sea, was important to them. To them, nature is the world.”
HearHere Magazine by Louise Fagan
When Maestra Sarah Ioannides takes to the stage on concert night, one might be forgiven for assuming her seemingly effortless command of the music stems only from her enviable wealth of natural talent. But her journey from her home to Twitchell Auditorium – or as guest conductor in far off countries like Dominican Republic, Austria and Scandinavia – is equal parts study, rehearsal and life management. To not acknowledge the ‘business’ side of managing an international career is akin to admiring the sporting style of a Harley Davidson motorcycle without a nod to its high performance engine.
What are your expectations as you return to the Tulsa Stage?
I am certainly excited to be returning to conduct the Tulsa Symphony. I really enjoyed my last cisit and so working with the same musicians will be a real pleasure! It is a wonderful group and there is a real sense of joy in their music-making. I am looking forward to that and to this program in particular, which is a feast of great tradition in classical music.
TACOMA — Sarah Ioannides isn’t just building bridges as the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s music director. She’s also crossing them.
Ioannides begins her second season on the TSO’s podium with a program of spring-inspired music that includes Beethoven’s “Pastorale” symphony (No. 6), and a road trip north of the Tacoma Narrows. The first of a season-opening brace of concerts, Feb. 27, will be at Gig Harbor’s Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, with the orchestra’s home opener set for the next night in the Rialto Theater in Tacoma.
Though TSO has been to Chapel Hill on two previous occasions to contribute to holiday-season performances of “The Messiah,” this is the first full-orchestra march across the Narrows Bridge.
“There seemed to be a keen classical music audience there,” said the Australian-born, London-raised Ioannides, who’s in the second year of a five-year pact to lead TSO.
We asked Ioannides to put down her baton and tell us a little about her life.
Q: What can we look forward to at the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra?
A: We are doing “Water Passion After St. Matthew.” Water Passion is literally a piece using water as an instrument. We are also doing a U.S. premier of Django Reinhardt’s music … (with) Grammy award winners (and) local talent. We are going to expand our classics programs to Gig Harbor.
The last time world-renowned trumpeter Jens Lindemann performed as a guest soloist with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Valentine’s Day pops concert ended in spectacular fashion.
During the grand finale performance of the jazz standard, “A Night in Tunisia,” Lindemann and Spartanburg Jazz Ensemble saxophonist/director Tom Wright engaged in a friendly, improvised duel that concluded with Lindemann playing “Taps” as he lay defeated on stage.
The concert three years ago was such a success that the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra is bringing Lindemann back for another Valentine’s pops concert, which will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium.
“We’re bringing this concert back by popular demand,” said SPO music director/conductor Sarah Ioannides. “Everybody had such a good time that last time, and everybody was asking, ‘When can we have Jens back?’
“We’ve basically got a similar concert, but it’s not identical. There are lots of different numbers.”
After last year’s season record-breaking ticket sales, the Tacoma Symphony will kick off its 2015-16 season at the Pantages Theater on Saturday with a crowd-pleasing program of Russian music, featuring pianist Andreas Boyde in Tchaikovsky’s rarely played second concerto. The German soloist will also perform Mussorgsky’s original piano version of “Pictures at an Exhibition” on Friday (Oct. 2) at the orchestra’s fundraising gala at Tacoma Art Museum.
“It’s a big, exciting program,” said director Sarah Ioannides, who just finished her first season leading the orchestra, which helped spur last year’s 20 percent jump in ticket sales and donors. “I heard Andreas play Tchaikovsky’s Concerto no. 2 when he was recording it in Freiburg. He has an amazing technique, all muscle. He’s a powerhouse. ‘Pictures’ is played a lot, for good reason, and I know he plays (the piano original), so I concocted the idea of him playing it at Tacoma Art Museum.”
In a resignation letter addressed to the orchestra, Ioannides wrote that the decision is “purely a personal one and is by no means a result of an event or internal conflict.”
At the time she concludes her tenure, Ioannides will have been at the helm of the SPO for 12 seasons. Since her arrival, she has led the orchestra through a period of significant artistic growth and increased community engagement.
“Spartanburg has been such an important part of my life — not only for me but also my family,” Ioannides said by phone Thursday afternoon. “All of the friendships I’ve made in Spartanburg that have really enriched my time with the orchestra won’t ever go away.
“The imprint of those relationships will last forever, and I look forward to remaining supportive beyond my tenure and available to provide whatever support I can for the organization. The future of the orchestra is so important to me.”
“Sarah’s a real talent who has a lot of room left to grow, and she’s got a lot of drive and ambition, and that’s kind of the reason she’s moving on,” SPO board president Ray Dunleavy said. “She’s leaving us in excellent shape. The challenge for us is to be able to find that next rising star who wants to come to a community like Spartanburg and move us to the next level.”
The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has selected five finalists to audition to be the next leader of the 32-member ensemble. They are: Donato Cabrera, Sarah Ioannides, Kelly Kuo, Daniel Meyer, and Eckart Preu.
The finalists were winnowed from a field of 200 applicants from three continents during a six-month review, said search committee chair and board vice president Wes Needham.
Each candidate will conduct an audition concert, and the audience will be invited to provide feedback on his or her performance. The first candidate will be the orchestra’s interim music director, Kuo, who will audition on Sept. 3 as part of this season’s Summermusik festival. The other four candidates will each have an audition concert during Summermusik 2016.
The festivities of Memorial Day mark the unofficial start of summer.
And for people in the South, songs, hot dogs and fireworks are the quintessential way to celebrate the holiday.
The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will give locals the opportunity to celebrate the patriotic holiday with its second annual Memorial Day Pops in the Park.
“This concert is a way that the SPO can give back to the community and (a way) to honor all of our military veterans,” said Kathryn Boucher, executive director for the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tacoma, Wash. — Can exposure to classical music help a child do better in school? One Tacoma mom says “Absolutely! “And she should know. She is also the conductor and music director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.
Called a conductor of “unquestionable strength and authority” by no less than The New York Times, Sarah Ioannides has brought glamour to Grit City and a passion for classical music that’s infectious.
“Come to concert hall and experience getting really engaged in a piece of music and what’s happening on stage because it’s not just listening,” she says. “It’s watching.”
On the podium she may be the maestra but on the playground she is Mommy. Ioannides is raising three small music lovers who all come to concerts and who are all learning to play instruments.
Tacoma Symphony Orchestra returns to roots as new director leads University of Puget Sound OrchestraApril 23, 2015
It doesn’t feel like a historical moment. The University of Puget Sound orchestra is at rehearsal number 121 of the fourth movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. As the strings come in for the unison, the horns are struggling with clef changes, and the cymbalist looks a little uncertain of where he is. The brass don’t quite make their triumphant entry, and the conductor stops them.
“You’ve got to get into the cycle of before your entrance to breathe in time,” the conductor says patiently, voice stuffy with a thick cold and 18 hours at an airport the night before. It’s Sarah Ioannides, new music director of the Tacoma Symphony, who’s rehearsing the university’s orchestra for their free concert Friday (April 24) — and making a little Tacoma history at the same time as the first TSO conductor to unite the two institutions since Edward Seferian began the orchestra back in 1959.
“This is an opportunity to make Sarah’s first year in Tacoma special,” said Keith Ward, chairman of the university’s Music Department, as Ioannides moved on to the third movement, pulling the second violins into their difficult opening with encouraging warmth. “She’s coming back to the roots of where the TSO began.”
An orchestra doesn’t often get to play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” theme with the entire audience joining in.
Tacoma Symphony’s annual Simply Symphonic schools concerts came with a big difference this year — an interactive program called Link Up, organized by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
The program was brought to the orchestra by its new music director, Sarah Ioannides, who conducted her enormous ensemble with obvious delight.
“The more the audience participates, the more it works,” Ioannides said backstage after the second of Tuesday’s two concerts.It’s designed to be educational as much as entertaining,” Ioannides said. “It gets students to understand how melody gets passed around through the orchestra, and simplifies it enough that they can grasp easily how composition takes place.
The 2014-15 Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s season has been one of the most exciting since Sarah Ioannides took over as music director and conductor 10 years ago.
The concert will be a mix of visual and audial artistry featuring internationally acclaimed solo violinist Vadim Gluzman, who will perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D while painter Julyan Davis simultaneously paints on stage.
Ioannides chose pieces by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg and Modest Mussorgsky, which she found fit marvelously together, and she built the program to imitate or celebrate life.
“The program builds in grandeur toward the end and it represents, to me, as a whole, the celebration of life,” Ioannides said, “from a wedding day to a remarkable violin, violinist and creator (Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto) and finally to art and its connection to music in the ‘Pictures at an Exhibition.'”
TACOMA, Wash. – Sarah Ioannides, the new music director at Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO), will raise her baton to lead the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra at a free April 24 concert.
Ioannides will be guest conductor at the place where the TSO had its start: the University of Puget Sound campus, where the orchestra grew under the leadership of Edward Seferian, professor of music and “Father of the TSO.” This is believed to be the first time a TSO music director has returned to the campus to conduct the college’s own student orchestra.
“We know Sarah’s deep connection to and profound belief in music education, and we celebrate the opportunity to bring her back to the roots of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra during her first year,” he said.
Spring has finally arrived in the Upstate and, with the blooming of the flowers, comes the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Family Concert.
The jovial familial affair, this year titled “Narrated Musical Stories,” is aimed at introducing children to the wonders of classical music and coincidentally falls on the same week as SPO’s LinkUp concert program.
“Part of our mission is to educate,” SPO music director and conductor Sarah Ioannides said. “And so, with these fun family programs, we can do so with enjoyment and in an entertaining way with great music and fun events surrounding the concert.
Sarah Ioannides has already pulled some innovative ideas out of the classical box in her first year as director of the Tacoma Symphony: a world premiere percussion concerto, international soloists, and a pianist able to improvise a Chopin-esque prelude based on the audience’s choice of theme.
This Sunday, she has another one: a concerto for tap dancer and orchestra. Along with “Lord of the Rings” singer Kaitlyn Lusk and piper Andrew Thomson, it’s part of a St. Patrick’s Day-themed concert in the Pantages that celebrates Irish music from classical to folk — music that Ioannides, with her British upbringing, loves
Sarah Ioannides, the celebrated new music director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO), has won accolade after accolade for her conducting talent and innovation in a field still dominated by men.
Her inaugural season with TSO, meanwhile, is selling out concerts and earning rave reviews. Ioannides, who was born in Canberra, Australia, is also music director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra in South Carolina. She is mother to three young children and is married to Yale professor of trombone Scott Hartman.
“Being exposed to music and live music and performance is a whole other world that can be so enriching and that can show [kids] the greater world out there. Set aside some time and resources and savings for that. We are such a world obsessed by things, but I think what we do is more important than what we’ve got.”
“They’re the maestros. From Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta to Gustavo Dudamel, symphony orchestra conductors have been classical music’s most visible figures–commanding, dramatic, elegant, and almost always male. Except at the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, where Maestra Sarah Ioannides has been appointed principal conductor and music director. Even in 2015 it’s a noteworthy event. Australian-born, British-educated Ioannides is also the music director of the Spartanburg (NC) Symphony and a past music director of the El Paso Symphony. She opened the 2014-15 Tacoma season with sell-outs.”
Watch here on KCTS Television (Seattle)
Ioannides said she is honored that the organization would set aside an evening in recognition of her 10 years as its music director.
“I think the orchestra has grown immensely, our audience has grown and our position in the community has grown.”
“The phrase in England is ‘tickled pink.’ I’m really excited,” said Ioannides, who grew up in the United Kingdom. “Of course, it’s really in recognition of the orchestra. This is 10 years of our work together, and it’s been a very special journey.
For Sarah Ioannides, music director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic in South Carolina and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra in Washington, practical considerations come first. “I am a busy person. I am a mother of three children, and I have two orchestras. I have limited time to shop, to decide what to wear, to get my clothes pressed, picked up from venue to venue.
Ioannides also says she enjoys when the musicians change up their attire. “I like it when the orchestra has a sense of style as well. A few times I have experimented with the orchestra’s clothing, and it really seemed to change the atmosphere in the audience.
It’s an interesting topic. First of all, you’ve got an orchestra dressed in essentially late-18th- or early-19th-century costume. On the other hand, that’s a male costume: tailcoats. It’s not a woman’s costume, and you have a lot of women in orchestras. So that opens up a multitude of possibilities.”
There will be a fresh face behind the podium as Tacoma Symphony Orchestra kicks off its new season the evening of Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Pantages Theater. Sarah Ioannides will make her public debut as incoming music director, conducting TSO as it performs the world premier of Sean O’Boyle’s new concerto, “Portraits of Immortal Love.”
“When somebody dies, you continue loving them forever – that never goes away,” Ioannides said recently, speaking with a lilting accent that betrays her British and Australian.
But as much as she was intrigued by the different musical sounds, Ioannides — who’ll step onto the podium as the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s new music director on Oct. 25 — also was fascinated by psychology and what makes people tick.
“The tricky part of the puzzle (is) branching out in new directions, but never sacrificing the essentials to do it. An orchestra can change its color, but needs to retain its identity.”
Perhaps the most obvious change in the Sarah Ioannides era will be that the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra will be led by a woman — its first female musical director.
It’s not a subject Ioannides is comfortable talking about, commenting during the audition process before her hiring that gender “makes no difference” in music making.
But Ioannides, as a female conductor, is in a real minority.
“In the end,” Ioannides said, “what makes my work all worthwhile is having an audience that really feels that the concert made a difference, made an impact, moved them, inspired them. Music can do so much to move people from one place to another. It can open new doors, heal old pains, excite and invigorate or re-invigorate. Finding the key to unlock something in each person is ultimately is my goal.”
Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra has announced its 2014-15 concert season, which will mark the 10th anniversary of Sarah Ioannides as the music director. The season will include six performances: four at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium and two at Chapman Cultural Center. The season will open with the return of famed German pianist Andreas Boyde in concert with SPO performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Smetana’s much-loved the Moldau from Ma Vlast. – Spartanburg Herald Journal
Whether it’s staging flash mobs on balconies or inviting music students to perform in the ranks, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia has a lively, inclusive approach that has made it a key player in the country’s burgeoning classical scene. […] Maestros who will conduct the orchestra later this year include Chile’s José Luis Domínguez, Colombian Andrés Franco, Sarah Ioannides from Australia, Russia’s Guerassim Voronkov and Tomasz Golka from Poland. – international arts manager
Tacoma Symphony Season to feature famed musicians, world premier with new Music Director, Sarah IoannidesFebruary 25, 2014
For her first season with the Tacoma Symphony, brand-new musical director Sarah Ioannides is making a splash. The orchestra’s 2014/15 season, announced yesterday, opens with a literal bang thanks to international percussion superstar Evelyn Glennie playing a world-premiere concerto by Australian composer Sean O’Boyle, and continues with soloists like Israeli cellist Amit Peled, Olympia prodigy pianist Charlie Albright, violinist Vadim Gluzman and an Irish pops concert featuring a tap dancer and piper with soprano Kaitlyn Lusk.
The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Thursday presented two Young Persons Concerts for the entire student body of Kendall-Whittier, the school’s teachers and some parents […]. The music for the concerts included selections from Camille Saint-Saens’ popular “Carnival of the Animals,” which is usually performed with the musical vignettes of various wildlife interspersed with Ogden Nash’s pun-filled light verse. […] Thursday morning’s concerts were conducted by British conductor Sarah Ioannides, who will also lead the orchestra Saturday. […]
Sarah Ioannides, who has served as music director and conductor of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, has landed a new job. The Tacoma (Wash.) Symphony Orchestra announced in December that Ioannides has been named its next music director and that her five-year contract will officially begin July 1. The new position will not affect Ioannides’ commitment to the Spartanburg music community. “I am naturally very excited about this invitation,” Ioannides said. “It will be a great honor to hold this position, in addition to my role as music director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and I am certainly looking forward to working with another group of highly esteemed colleagues and musicians in the beautiful setting of Washington’s Puget Sound.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
“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
The concert “is part of a big international celebration of Benjamin Britten that’s been happening throughout the year,” SPO music director and conductor Sarah Ioannides said. “Being of British heritage myself, I really appreciate his music and wanted to take this opportunity to share one of the really golden eggs of his compositions. This is a beautiful piece of music, and it’s extremely poignant and very touching.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
“Whether it’s classical, jazz, pop or whatever, if during those two hours of the concert the artist succeeds in making people forget their daily upsets and worries, then something nice and useful has been accomplished for the survival of mankind,” Katsaris said. “It’s about getting to a higher spiritual level and making people happy.” […] Katsaris said he’s looking forward to working with Ioannides, whom he met while serving as best man at her father’s wedding in Cyprus two decades ago. Like his daughter, Ayis Ioannides is a renowned conductor. Saturday’s concert will also include performances of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” No. 9 and a piece called “Discover the Wild” by contemporary composer Kenneth Fuchs, whose “Falling Man” was performed by the SPO at a 9/11 tribute concert in 2011. – Spartanburg Herald Journal
During Saturday’s concert with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Katsaris will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. […] “There is a lot of diversity,” Katsaris said. “It’s one of the greatest masterworks of Beethoven, and I hope that we’ll have enough audience there to fully appreciate it.” – Dan Armonaites
The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate the centennial anniversary of “The Rite of Spring” by performing the famous work as the highlight of the orchestra’s final masterworks concert of the season Saturday at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium. “The 100th anniversary of this piece is being celebrated all over the world,” said Sarah Ioannides, music director and conductor of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. “If we weren’t a part of that, I’d feel like we were missing out.” What makes the Spartanburg Philharmonic’s celebration unique is that it’s more than just a musical performance. Concert-goers will also get a glimpse into the minds of local high school students, whose visualizations of “The Rite of Spring” will be presented in a multimedia slide show presentation. – Spartanburg Herald Journal
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of music director Sarah Ioannides, will perform it at 7 p.m. Saturday in Twichell Auditorium at Converse College. In addition to the concert, patrons also can get a glimpse into the minds of students, who will exhibit their visualization of Stravinsky’s music in an art exhibit. For the past several weeks, high school art students in Spartanburg School districts 1, 2 and 7 have been asked to listen to the recorded symphony and create visual art that reflects the music through paintings, drawings or sculptures. An exhibit is on view at the Chapman Cultural Center. – Spartanburg Herald Journal
The future of local music was on display Friday at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium. Spartanburg County third, fourth and fifth graders performed with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra to music by Ludwig Beethoven and other great composers. About 4,000 students from the seven county school districts participated in performances and learned about music and instruments with the local philharmonic orchestra. Three separate sessions were held to accommodate all of the students […]. Orchestra conductor Sarah Ioannides said the students seemed to get more and more involved with each show. “I think it was just brilliant,” she said. “A lot of children will be choosing what instrument they want to play next year. Today they got the opportunity to hear their instrument played. It’s so important.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
The show will start with the fast and furiously gleeful runs of Glinka’s “Ruslan and Ludmilla” overture, everyone’s favorite Cossack dance. After that … a concerto for double bass – the orchestra’s lowest-sounding instrument – by the man who wrote the scores for some of cinema’s darkest moments, and a symphony written in angry defiance of a terrifying regime. Add to that a conductor auditioning for the symphony’s artistic director post and you have a recipe for a fascinating concert. – Tacoma News Tribune
Q: What do you bring to the Tacoma Symphony?
A: Well, I’m a unique personality. As a musician, I have a wide range of musical tastes: vocal, operatic, new works, multimedia, though I was born and bred in the standard classical repertoire. I have a great interest in the education and future of classical music, in presenting it in different formats in a community. I try to stay close to the composer’s intent but touch as many people as possible in the performance. I’m always looking at how to interact, how to bring people in, to reach out. – News Tribune of Tacoma
Lindemann, who has played every major concert venue in the world and was once named International Brass Personality of the Year by Brass Herald, will be the guest soloist for a special Valentine’s Day POPS concert Thursday by the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium.
Lindemann said he and Spartanburg Philharmonic music director/conductor Sarah Ioannides previously worked together on the piece during a performance in Michigan with the world-renowned Brass Band of Battle Creek.
Ioannides “is a fantastic conductor — very personable both with the musicians and the audience,” said Lindemann, who was classically trained at The Juilliard School in New York. “What I like about working with her is that she’s what we would call a ‘musician’s conductor,’ meaning that she has true empathy for the people who are standing on stage making music that she’s trying to create.
In addition to featuring Lindemann, Thursday’s POPS concert will include the first-ever collaboration between the Spartanburg Philharmonic and the Spartanburg Jazz Ensemble. – By Dan Armonaitis, Spartanburg Herald Journal
Violin virtuoso Michael Ludwig is particularly enthusiastic about getting to perform with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra this weekend. “It’s always nice to work with somebody that you know on a personal level,” Ludwig said, referring to SPO music director and conductor Sarah Ioannides. “She’s a wonderful person and a great musician, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
McGill, 33, has been with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2004. Before that, he was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he worked with current Spartanburg Philharmonic conductor Sarah Ioannides. McGill and Ioannides first met as students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. “It’s been great to see how Sarah’s career has also taken off,” McGill said. “She’s done some great things with the (Spartanburg Philharmonic) orchestra, and I’m really looking forward to working with her again.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
The concert opens with the Overture to Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” including the famous Wedding March. Completing the concert, in wild contrast, are the exotic “Polovtsian Dances,” from Alexander Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor.” They add a lighter note and reflect the season’s Russian ambience. You will recognize the melodies, which were used in the musical “Kismet.” Among them are “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” and the iconic “Stranger in Paradise.” The guest conductor for this concert is Sarah Ioannides. This will be her Buffalo debut. – The Buffalo News
Szafron will again perform “Toccata Festiva” during the Spartanburg Philharmonic’s season-opening concert Saturday at Twichell Auditorium. “This is the music — with Brennan as solo artist — that sort of launched my relationship with Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra,” Ioannides said. “So I absolutely feel a personal connection to it.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
Ioannides to lead CSO, bandoneónist Trivisonno through cultural musical sampling.
Two extraordinary women take the stage. Ms. St. John will be the soloist for the West Coast premiere of Matthew Hindson’s Violin Concerto No. 1, “Australian Postcards.” This exciting, colorful piece was written in 2000 as a set of movements that reflect Australian places or outlooks and contemporary Australian culture. — Ventura County Star
Among the highlights is a world premiere performance of Kenneth Fuchs’ “Falling Man,” featuring renowned Metropolitan Opera baritone James Maddalena. The Spartanburg Festival Chorus will also be on hand along with a 20-member choir of local first responders performing a variety of patriotic selections…
It was a vital component of our concert to have the first responders participate — most of all to give them an opportunity to remember and for us to thank them for their dedication to their mission.
Among the highlights is a world premiere performance of Kenneth Fuchs’ “Falling Man,” featuring renowned Metropolitan Opera baritone James Maddalena. The Spartanburg Festival Chorus will also be on hand along with a 20-member choir of local first responders performing a variety of patriotic selections… It was a vital component of our concert to have the first responders participate — most of all to give them an opportunity to remember and for us to thank them for their dedication to their mission.
The North Carolina Symphony will help kick off Fourth of July festivities in the Port City Saturday night at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium with a dynamic young guest conductor leading a program that taps American traditions from Broadway to Hollywood and from jazz to the immigrant experience in classical music. Sarah Ioannides, 39, is helming the orchestra for all of its holiday concerts. – Star News
Ioannides is a creative force behind two of America’s finest up-and-coming orchestras. Her engagements have spanned five continents.
OUTSTANDING: The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of “An American Christmas” was “outstanding,” declares Jim Jones of Inman. “It’s one of a kind and not easily duplicated, but Sarah Ioannides waved her magic wand, and miracles began to happen,” he says. “Every performer, like Pam Stone, Sharon Decker, Fayssoux McLean, Brandon Turner, Ballet Spartanburg, First Presbyterian Chancel Choir and last but certainly not least, the Pure-N-Heart Kids Choir, was terrific and deserves another round of applause. You don’t have to travel to New York City. It’s all right in our front yard.”
For five seasons, the woman with Hepburn good looks, a dancer’s grace, and an adventurous musical flair, has captivated El Paso audiences from the conductor’s stand. Those attributes are also making her famous.
I’ve always felt the importance of living life to its fullest. My pursuit of personal and professional passions has led me to a wonderful place in life! I know managing both career and family will be difficult at times but fortunately my husband’s and my careers are in music, and music is a force that bonds and unites people. I strongly believe in its power.
Conductor and music director Sarah Ioannides announced Tuesday that she will leave the El Paso Symphony Orchestra after the 2010-11 season, her sixth with the organization….
We were in need of some new ideas, which she brought,” Gibson said.
They included last season’s performance of Holst’s “The Planets,” which featured video footage from NASA’s Hubble telescope. She also programmed Chinese composer Tan Dun’s “Water Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra.” It included water vessels used as percussion.
Balancing Dynamics […] Sarah’s passion for her art makes it challenging to slow down, even for maternity leave. She conducted two days before Audrey Rose was born and then took several weeks to bond with her newborn. Six weeks later with the baby in tow, she was conducting again. – Working Mother Magazine by Suzanne Riss
The list of women conductors may be small, but it is enormously prestigious nonetheless. Here are some examples, and their principal appointments: Sarah Ioannides (b. 1972): Leader of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and the Spartanburg Philharmonic. Conducted premieres by such composers as Stephen Paulus, Richard Danielpour, Steve Reich and Tan Dun. – Cape Cod Times by Keith Powers
Sarah of the Symphony -As El Paso’s first maestra, Sarah Ioannides commands the stage and conducts beautiful musicSeptember 1, 2009
Sarah Ioannides, music director of the symphony, glides into view to rousing applause, her smile as warm as her looks are captivating…
I think she stole everyone’s heart,” says Debbie Hand, president-elect of the board of the symphony. “She has brought this wonderful youth, energy, and pro- gramming,” says Ruth Ellen Jacobson, executive director of the symphony. “Interest is way up. I think she’s lit a fire under the community, and she’s really embraced El Paso, just as we’ve embraced her – Southern Living Magazine, TX
Though women are making progress, music directors of big-league orchestras still are overwhelmingly male. – Los Angeles Times by Chloe Veltman
As El Paso’s first maestra, Sarah Ioannides commands the stage and conducts beautiful music. by Gary D. FordMay 6, 2009
“… Sarah Ioannides, music director of the symphony, glides into view to rousing applause, her smile as warm as her looks are captivating…
I think she stole everyone’s heart,” says Debbie Hand, president-elect of the board of the symphony. “She has brought this wonderful youth, energy, and pro- gramming,” says Ruth Ellen Jacobson, executive director of the symphony. “Interest is way up. I think she’s lit a fire under the community, and she’s really embraced El Paso, just as we’ve embraced her.” – South Carolina People and Places
She has the best interests of the community at heart. She’s friendly, outgoing, a natural draw for people. Her conducting style is exquisite. It looks like she’s dancing as she conducts. – Southern Living Magazine, SC
“There’s been a star in a constellation in the vicinity of the Plaza Theater on symphony weekends. The name of the star is Ioannides, first name Sarah, and she’s the young conductor of the El Paso Symphony. We asked Sarah to be next in our series of recognizable El Pasoans talking about their top 10 favorite CDs. On music, Sarah has this to say: “Listening or performing can transport you all you need do is allow yourself to let go completely.” – What’s Up, El Paso? By Dan Lambert
“I hadn’t been to the Plaza Theater yet, and what better way to get initiated then hearing Sarah Ioannides conduct the orchestra? […] The Tan Dun piece was mesmerizing. It started Blue Man Group-style with two percussionists playing as they walked down either aisle from the back of the hall to the stage. Soloist David Cossin coaxed an ocean full of sounds from the interaction of water and instruments. Rhythmic splashes, ringing half-submerged cymbals, watery cascades, a hollow tube played percussively with one end in the water sounding like a tuned drum, beats tapped out on floating bowls all mic’d up and floating over the theater sound system accompanied by the orchestra. Mike Newman’s production had video of both Ioannides and Cossin displayed on large screens so you could follow every nuance.” – What’s Up El Paso? By Dan Lambert
“Cossin says Ioannides brings that vibrancy herself. “She breathes new life into symphonies,” he says, noting her dedication to exposing children to classical and contemporary music by having artists like himself visit schools when he comes to perform. Cossin also says using a piece like Dun’s water concerto is a good way to engage new audiences. “Yes, he’s experimental, but he’s not too academic – his music is melodic and audience friendly.” Ioannides adds: “We must support living artists, not just ones of the past – or we’ll cut off the future of music.” – El Paso Inc. by Jennifer Nittoso
“Beyond Generations, a concert featuring Ioannides with her father and husband. Ioannides’ father, Ayis Ioannides, lives in Cyprus, an island in the northeastern quarter of the Mediterranean Sea, and is a conductor and composer. The philharmonic will play a piece that he’s written for the orchestra. This will be our first time playing together,” said Ioannides, who said her father last saw her conduct 10 years ago at a Philadelphia concert.” – Spartanburg Herald-Journal by Dudley Brown
“Whether it’s tiny droplets dripping with a ting into a sink, the whoosh of rainfall soaking city streets or the thundering rush of rapid white rivers, the sounds of water are inherent in our experiences. However, few have likely ever heard or seen water portrayed quite the way it will be Saturday night at Twichell Auditorium, when guest water percussionist David Cossin performs “Water Concerto for Water Percussion and Orchestra” with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The concerto, written by Tan Dun, the Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer of the film score for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” features various waterborne instruments he invented along with percussionist Christopher Lamb, played within and around a pair of transparent hemispherical basins filled with water. “Water is just like music,” Dun said via telephone from New York City. “Music is different from literature, it’s absolutely a boundless language; water also is boundless.” – The Spartanburg Herald-Journal
“Jesse Rosen, President of the League of American Orchestras, has watched Ioannides conduct at least three times. “She has a big personality and is highly expressive and she makes a difference” he said.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal by Dudley Brown
“Sarah Stood out as the type of music director with the creativity needed to challenge the orchestra and help it grow to a higher level of artistic achievement.: said Dana Gencarelli, executive director of the Music Foundation. She has the foresight to come in and get to know the community and assiss the needs and determine what type of music is appropriate for the community.” – Spartanburg Herald Journal
“Sarah Ioannides is filled with passion and progressive ideas for the development of symphonic music in the 21st century.” – El Paso Inc.
“These artists represent a new wave of female conductors in their late 20’s through early 40’s. Others are Joana Carneiro, Sara Jobin, Sarah Ioannides, Sarah Hicks, Keri-Lynn Wilson and Anne Manson. They confront significantly less prejudice than did their counterparts who are only a few years older: Gisèle Ben-Dor, Catherine Comet, Rachel Worby, JoAnn Falletta, Marin Alsop and others, performers who have made women a familiar presence on the orchestra podium.” – The New York Times