The National Youth Orchestra, South Africa’s symphonic national team, will perform the Fourth Symphony of Tchaikovsky, and Stravinksy’s playful neo-classical Pulcinella Suite in Pretoria and Johannesburg from 14 to 16 December 2017.
These performances will be done under the baton of acclaimed United States conductor Sarah Ioannides, who is listed as one of the top 20 female conductors worldwide. Ioannides’ dynamism has won praise from audience and critics alike. Her engagements have taken her to five continents. This tour will mark her South African debut.
The Inquirer by David Patrick Stearns
The other big discovery was guest conductor Sarah Ioannides, a Curtis Institute graduate and someone who has been working with regional orchestras from El Paso to Tacoma. However gracious her manner, she somehow induced Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia to play on a level that’s been wanting since the departure of now-conductor-laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn some years ago. The playing in this longish Beethoven program was vigorous, solid, and with an unusually vibrant sonority. Her programming ideas were provocative: She programmed a lot of early Beethoven that’s worth an occasional hearing, such as the Rondo for piano and orchestra, as well as unfinished Beethoven, in an assemblage of his borderline-chaotic Symphony No. 10. Her rendering of that last piece was particularly notable: This is music with no real performance tradition, though you wouldn’t have known that from what was heard on Sunday.
Symphony Tacoma has extended the contract of Music Director Sarah Ioannides through the 2023-2024 Season, Board President Clark D’Elia announced today.
“We are delighted to announce the extension of Maestra Ioannides’ contract,” stated D’Elia. “In just three seasons, the changes she has implemented—both artistic and programmatic—have been remarkable. She has wholeheartedly embraced and been embraced by the community, building the Orchestra’s artistic capacity, forging collaborative relationships, and bringing a new caliber of guest artists to the concert stage. The Board is extremely pleased with the results, and we look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership for years to come.”
By John Falskow for The News Tribune
“Mountain and Sea” was not just a concert by Symphony Tacoma — it was a culmination of creativity, education, outreach and advocacy that touched our community and brought people together in a powerful shared experience.
“Fire Mountain” ended in an elongated, disintegrating diminuendo. The violin sections melted into a single thread of sound, and their whisper faded into profound silence. This silence clung on for a long time. It seemed that nobody in the Pantages Theater wanted this moment to end. The silence broke, and the audience launched into an immediate standing ovation.
A review of just the Symphony Tacoma performance cannot do justice to the depth and profound effect the “Fire Mountain” collaboration has had on the Tacoma community. Was it a great concert? Absolutely. Bravo to Symphony Tacoma, Sarah Ioannides, Daniel Ott, and everyone behind the massive and inclusive project. But the larger lesson goes beyond a single concert event. “Fire Mountain” has given us a glimpse at the creative and collaborative potential in Tacoma.
The Tacoma Weekly
This weekend, Symphony Tacoma hopes to raise awareness of global climate change. Its new program “Classics V: Mountain and Sea” – to be presented 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Pantages Theater – will include performances of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” from Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt,” and Claude Debussy’s “La Mer.”
It will also include the world premier of a new piece called “Fire-Mountain” by Daniel Ott, a New York-based composer and university professor (The Juilliard School, Fordham University) with strong ties to the area.
“He’s got a really thoughtful, unique and a very, very interesting, fascinating style of composition. Symphony Tacoma Musical Director Sarah Ioannides said. “The point of this piece is to bring awareness to environmental changes that our planet is enduring at this time and to really bring thought and reverence to the natural beauty of places like Mount Rainier.”
From The HUB of the League of American Orchestras
Washington’s Symphony Tacoma has been collaborating this spring with the Museum of Glass, Hilltop Artists Video, and Mount Rainier National Park in preparation for the May 13 world premiere of Daniel Ott’s Fire Mountain Symphony. Leading up to the concert, area residents participated in events designed to raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s rapidly melting glaciers. In March at the Museum of Glass, student artists worked with ice and molten glass in a joint performance-art event with Symphony Tacoma musicians, who played composed and improvised music as glass-blowers worked. Video footage from the event will be incorporated, together with images of Mount Rainier, for a video art piece to accompany the May 13 world premiere, led by Music Director Sarah Ioannides and featuring Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices. The molten glass is meant as “a metaphor for the flowing magma within the mountain, and the ice reflects the changes to its exterior,” says the orchestra in a press release. Composer Daniel Ott is a native of Puyallup, Washington.
Posted May 12, 2017
Rosemary Ponnekanti for the Tacoma News Tribune
Around 38 orchestra students from Lincoln High School — most of whom had never been up Mount Rainier — were joined by a climatologist, a composer, a conductor, park rangers and a symphony violinist, who is their orchestra teacher. The goal? To discover how classical music can help save our environment in the form of a brand-new piece premiering Saturday with Symphony Tacoma!
“The goal is to express the challenges of global warming and what needs to be done,” she says. “If there were a mass movement (in music) to express our feelings on this, more people would become aware that it’s an important subject.”
“ ‘Fire Mountain’ is calling to attention the dangers of climate change,” says Daniel Ott, the composer in the snowshoeing group, of the choral symphonic work that Symphony Tacoma commissioned him to write for the concert “Mountain and Sea.”
The World Premiere of a new symphonic work. A multimedia experience featuring video, glass art and music. A symposium exploring changes to the delicate ecosystem of the Mountain and its glaciers. A collaboration between the Arts and the National Park Service. A once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity for area high school students. Symphony Tacoma’s Mountain and Sea season finale is all this and more.
Conceived by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, Mountain and Sea is a collaborative effort between Symphony Tacoma, Museum of Glass, Hilltop Artists and Mount Rainier National Park to create a cross-disciplinary multimedia artistic event culminating with the Symphony’s season finale. Commemorating the Centennial of the National Parks System, the project will engage area residents in music and glass art and raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate.
Conceived by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, Mountain and Sea engages Symphony Tacoma, the Museum of Glass (MOG), Hilltop Artists, Lincoln High School orchestra students and Mount Rainier National Park in a multimedia artistic event culminating with the May 13 concert. In commemoration of the Centennial of the National Parks System, the multi-layered project will engage participants in music and glass art and raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate. The capstone of the project and the season finale will be the world premiere of Fire-Mountain, the new symphonic work by Daniel Ott.
It has been a privilege to support Dan, Derek and especially Sarah in the long run-up to this concert. Elements of the project have been in Sarah’s mind since the early days of her tenure, and we have literally been writing grant proposals, building bridges with collaborative partners, and otherwise planning the event since the spring of 2015!