Archive: News | Announcements

A Tacoma classic has a new name


Symphony’s rebranding sets new tone for the future


TACOMA, WA—It was christened the “College of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra” at its first concert back in 1946.  It was renamed the “UPS-Tacoma Symphony” some 13 years later, then the “Tacoma Symphony Orchestra” in the ‘60s. Inevitably, to most of its core patrons and stakeholders, it has been known for years as just plain “the TSO” or “the Symphony.”


This fall, in conjunction with its 70th Anniversary, the organization formerly known as “TSO” will receive a new name. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present… your Symphony Tacoma!


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Sarah Ioannides, former CSO assistant conductor, returns to Cincy!

CincinnatiMusic director candidate and former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Sarah Ioannides returns to the Queen City with a program fusing together French, classical, Latin American and jazz musical worlds.


The use of the saxophone in the Milhaud acts as an intro to the jazz idiom featured in the world premiere of Grammy Awardwinning composer Roberto Sierra’s Caribbean Rhapsody, written for powerhouse saxophonist James Carter. In 2004, James received the Dr. Alaine Locke Award for exemplary leadership in the promotion of African American culture.


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Tacoma Symphony’s 70th Anniversary Season finds a revitalized organization with new artistic leadership and vision

South Sound InterviewWorld Premiere homage to Mount Rainier, Glass “Saxophone Concerto,” and return of violinist Vadim Gluzman highlight Sarah Ioannides’ third season.


From the unusual and striking to the familiar and cherished, the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-2017 reveals a robust, revitalized artistic institution with visionary leadership that is taking the orchestra to new heights.


Sarah Ioannides’ third season is a blend of innovation and tradition, and a remarkable demonstration of her skills as a musical curator.  Guest artists include violinist Vadim Gluzman, whom Strings Magazine described as “fire walking while fiddling”; saxophonist Amy Dickson, just named the 2016 Young Australian of the Year;  and Korean violinist Kristin Lee, praised for her “mastery of tone” by The Strad.


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Violin Prodigy to Perform with the SPO

Enigmatic EvolutionSPARTANBURG, SC— Brilliant prodigy and acclaimed soloist Kristin Lee is set to perform with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, November 14 at 7:00pm in Twichell Auditorium. Lee will take the stage to deliver Sibelius’s epic Violin Concerto, op. 47, a virtuosic piece that is darkly melodic and hauntingly beautiful. Maestra Sarah Ioannides has programmed this exciting music with two equally impressive works: Dreamtime Ancestors by Christopher Theofanidis and the classic Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.


Lee, recently honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician.  A rising star, she was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juilliard’s Pre-College Symphony Orchestra.  Since graduating Julliard with a Masters in violin performance, Lee has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony of Korea, and many others. She has appeared on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery.


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Tonkünstler Orchestra returns to Sparkassensaal in Vienna



“The renowned Tonkünstler Orchestra conducted by Sarah Ioannides performed in the newly renovated Sparkassensaal that now equals locations like the Gragenegg or the Musikverein in Vienna. (…)


The performance was enthusiastically honored by the concert audience: With more than 450 fans of classical music the concert on October 24 was excellently attended.”

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Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra Announces Music Director Finalists

Nielsen Still Fav_1The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has announced the five finalist candidates for the position of Music Director who will lead the orchestra starting in fall, 2016. They are: Donato Cabrera, Sarah Ioannides, Kelly Kuo, Daniel Meyer, and Eckart Preu. The position of Music Director of the CCO has only been held by four conductors in the past 41 years: Paul Nadler (1974-1984), Gerhard Samuel (1984-1991), Keith Lockhart (1992-2000), and Mischa Santora (2001-2014).


“We at the CCO were both humbled and flattered to receive nearly 200 applications from three continents for the position of Music Director,” said search committee chair and Board Vice President Wes Needham. “The committee has spent over six months in its review, and has had the pleasure of getting to know many talented candidates. The CCO has a long history of excellence in artistic leadership, and we have labored enthusiastically to find a passionate, vibrant leader to continue our tradition of world-class chamber music. We are excited to arrive at this stage in our process, and announce the five finalists for the next Music Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.”


Sarah Ioannides will be familiar to Cincinnati audiences, since she is a former assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and former Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra (2002-2004).


“I am thrilled to return to Cincinnati and feel very honored to be selected as a finalist in the Chamber Orchestra’s search for a new Music Director,” said Ms. Ioannides. “Cincinnati has remained in my heart since I left the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s conducting staff and took the reins of my own orchestras. I am excited about the possibilities ahead for Summermusik and look forward to creating a very special, exciting and memorable evening with the orchestra next summer!”


Ms. Ioannides will guest conduct the CCO at her audition concert that will take place August 27, 2016.


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Sold out 2014-15 Classics Series in Tacoma

Tacoma Concert CollageMusic Director Sarah Ioannides’ inaugural 2014-2015 Season raised both the Tacoma Symphony’s visibility and service revenue to its highest level in years. Bold programs with top tier soloists—including a world premiere performance with percussionist Evelyn Glennie and a memorable engagement with violinist Vadim Gluzman—revitalized both the audience and the ensemble. Attendance at the Classics series climbed by more than 18% with all four Classics concerts selling out. November’s performance, featuring young pianist Charlie Albright in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, experienced such strong advance ticket sales that TSO management shifted it from the Rialto Theater to Tacoma’s larger Pantages Theater, which then went on to sell out!


The audience reflected back this excitement with such comments as: “You have definitely made the right choice in a music director!” “I will remember tonight for the rest of my life!” “Sarah was beyond my greatest hope!” And, “That was the BEST concert I have ever been to.” Unexpected elements at concerts—performers stationed throughout the hall during Pines of Rome; a “surprise” appearance by the Tacoma Symphony Chorus during Sibelius’ Finlandia; Hubble images projected during The Planets—are generating buzz and changing perceptions about the concert experience. As The News Tribune noted, “Ioannides’ five-year term promises good things for the city.”


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Departure from Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the end of the 2016-17 season

PugetSoundAfter 10 seasons with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor Sarah Ioannides announces her departure at the end of the 2016-2017 season.


“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.  The last ten years have been musically inspiring.  I am so very proud of the orchestra and everything we have accomplished,” Ioannides said.  “I firmly believe the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will continue to be successful, long into the future, standing strong as one of the premier musical establishments in the region.”


“She is a remarkable artist who brings unmatched passion and generosity to her work. Though I will truly miss our partnership, I know I can look forward to celebrating her future accomplishments” said SPO Executive Director, Kathryn Boucher.


“Spartanburg has been very fortunate to have a young rising star like Sarah at the artistic helm of the SPO since 2005. In partnership with orchestra musicians she has raised the artistic level and reputation of the SPO both locally and nationally,” said Music Foundation Board President Ray Dunleavy.

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Upcoming Season Promises New Artistic Heights

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Stravinsky Rite of Spring, Tan Dun Water Passion, expansion to five Classics programs highlight Sarah Ioannides’ second year


The buzz from Music Director Sarah Ioannides’ inaugural season—in which all four Classics concerts sold out—continues to reverberate throughout the South Sound, and the 2015-2016 season promises to pulse at a whole new level. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra has unveiled additional changes and updates to its 2015-2016 Season line-up, announced earlier this year.


“My first season as Music Director has been a deep delight,” stated Sarah Ioannides. “A special joy has been getting to know the community of patrons and supporters. It has been wonderful to feel the energy of the audience from the stage. I look forward to an ever-deepening relationship with the orchestra, audience and community.”


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