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South African National Youth Orchetra in Cary on te%

Tacoma Symphony balances inventive, tradition; violinist Caroline Goulding stands out

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The News Tribune by Rosemary Ponnekanti


Inventive met traditional at the Tacoma Symphony concert Sunday in the Pantages Theater, both between pieces and within them. The orchestra bookended the afternoon program with a United States premiere by Portuguese composer Luis Tinoco that scattered musicians throughout the theater and the highly conventional “Reformation” symphony of Mendelssohn, while violin soloist Caroline Goulding injected the 112-year-old Sibelius concerto with imaginative sound.




The awed audience member who uttered a solo “Whoa!” after the baton dropped summed it up for all of us.


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Tacoma Symphony Orchestra returns to roots as new director leads University of Puget Sound Orchestra

sarah_action2It 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.”

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SPO Announces 2015-2016 Season: “Inspirations from Around the World”

15-16ad_SPOThe Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra led by renowned music director and conductor Sarah Ioannides, announces its upcoming 2015-2016 season. With new programming, additional concerts, a vibrant ‘Music Sandwiched In’ series, three exciting youth concerts, a lineup of world famous guest artists, and the annual Memorial Day Pops concert, this season promises to inspire and enable music lovers with “Inspirations from Around the World”.

Music Director Sarah Ioannides said “As we close this exciting last season and prepare to open a new season together, I am able to reflect on the wonderful journey of the last ten years and look to new, fresh and exciting programming that I know our audience is passionate about! With the orchestra sounding at its very best and a roster of a few of the best musicians on the international concert stage today, the concerts will spotlight different countries from around the world, starting farther away and with home visits throughout and closing the season in South America where we celebrate very close to Cinco de Mayo!”

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TSO’s Sarah Ioannides Conducts the UPS Symphony Orchestra, Apr. 24

10403191_746257682062452_6769864302773477406_nTACOMA, 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.

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Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra presents “Pictures at an Exhibition & Tchaikovsky’s Violin”

SPO_AprilThe Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, will step onto the stage for the Grand Season Finale on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at 7:00 pm in Twichell Auditorium, for an eclectic and dynamic concert titled, “Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky’s Violin.”

A fabulous mix of visual and audial artistry, this performance will feature solo violinist Vadim Gluzman as he performs the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D, and painter Julyan Davis who will be painting live on stage during the concert.

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Song, Pipe, and Dance Stars Shine in Tacoma Symphony’s Songs from the Emerald Isle


TACOMA, WA – Music Director Sarah Ioannides’ own Celtic program Songs from the Emerald Isle to showcase song, pipe and dance stars alongside the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, March 22nd at 2:30 p.m. at the Pantages Theater.  Songs from the Emerald Isle features tap dancer Trent Kowalik, uilleann piper Andrew Thomson, and soprano Kaitlyn Lusk, nationally acclaimed for her performances in the Lord of the Rings Symphony.

Ms. Lusk made her major orchestral debut with the Baltimore Symphony in 2003 at the age of 14.  Kaitlyn has been the featured vocal soloist in Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Symphony, performing this role with more than 50 of the world’s finest orchestras and renowned conductors.  Her expanded role in the Live-to-Projection performances of the Lord of the Rings films has brought her center stage at Radio City, Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Munich, Lucerne, Singapore, Paris, Taiwan, and Chicago.  At Shore’s request, she performed the Academy Award winning song “Into the West” as part of the Grammy Honors in New York City.  In 2012 alone she performed with five of the world’s greatest orchestras—Munich, Rotterdam, Chicago, Sydney and London.

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Spartanburg Philharmonic receives $20K national grant

SPOnewLast March, Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra executive director Kathryn Boucher wrote a letter to the National Endowment for the Arts, requesting a grant to assist with worldrenowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie’s guest appearance with the SPO this week. It worked. In early December, NEA chairperson Jane Chu announced that the SPO was to receive a prestigious Arts Works grant for $20,000.

In a written statement, Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works, including the award to the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people, and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

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Gender Gap on the Podium- Featured on The Hub from the League of American Orchestras

SPO 2014-321“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)

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