The ensemble’s excellent balance was apparent in the delicate melody that followed, giving way to contrapuntal precision. (Mozart Magic Flute Overture)
Sarah Ioannides, now in her eighth year as SPO’s music director, conducts with strength and great authority, clearly relying on a well-established relationship with her orchestra. SPO has matured commendably under her baton and it is a pleasure to hear musicians that know each other well.
In all, the evening displayed the community’s enviable musical talents and great collaborative spirit. – Leah Harrison, For Spartanburg Herald Journal
Tall and slender, [Ioannides] delivered brief and incisive opening remarks, then conducted as gracefully as a dancer, giving a steady beat and clear cues without any showiness…the reading had a rightness about it, with the orchestra playing as if they were just having fun.
Ioannides’ flow brought the work to colorful life…[her program] included two gems not played often enough and the Piazzolla pieces we might never hear in concert again. It’s impressive programming, and it’s obvious her future is very, very bright.
-Chautauquan Daily (Tom DiNardo)
Ioannides chose a well-rounded program that captivated the audience by combining contemporary classical music with treasures from the past. Best of all, she led the orchestra into new and vibrant territory.
The orchestra and its Music Director, Sarah Ioannides, offered compelling proof of the value and importance of an orchestra…..Ioannides and this Philharmonic deserve celebration for their commitment to ensuring that this orchestra is ours, that it reflects and helps bind together the Spartanburg community.
Academy Award winning composer Dario Marianelli rehearses his “Pride & Prejudice Suite” with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra Saturday morning in the Twichell Auditorium at Converse College. The orchestra is conducted by Sarah Ioannides.
Ioannides brought out genuine warmth in the tone of the RPO with the slightest of gestures… The second half of the program was lush and well executed. Claude Debussy’s “La Mer” was true to its character, perfect in tempo and pacing, and created an emotional tone that captured the melancholy of the seas.
We couldn’t have been more appreciative for the unbridled program, under the peppy direction of maestro Sarah Ioannides. We loved it!
(Gershwin Cuban Overture, Amram Saxophone Concerto Ode to Lord Buckley, Barber Music for a Scene from Shelley and the Finale of Bloch’s America: An Epic Rhapsody for Orchestra).
…Ioannides fronted her musicians with energy and enthusiasm as usual… It was capped off in a high-octane finish that brought a default standing reaction from the audience, including me and my companion.
It was the kind of adventurous program that conductor Sarah Ioannides has brought to the mix since her arrival in 2005 and, one hopes, the kind of thing her successor will continue after the maestra leaves at the end of this season. — Ernest Bloch’s America
A stirring conclusion to an eventful night filled refreshingly unusual and inventive touches. —Doug Pullen, El Paso Times