Young Artists Run Riot of Spring

April 23, 2013

100 years ago, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring caused a riot. Today we embrace it as an iconic work that has won a special place in music history and sits in the hearts music lovers.

Orchestras all over the world are performing the work and celebrating the birth of this piece now 100 years on. The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra is thrilled to be part of this celebration and with our performance and a special arts project through Spartanburg counties schools that has involved hundreds of teenagers in a creative process.

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art & music

Living into a mission

November 26, 2012

Have you ever been so moved by a school’s program that you just had to share it with the world?

I recently completed a 10-day engagement in Chicago working with the fine students at Roosevelt University culminating in a performance with the Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra in Orchestra Hall.  I was there to conduct, teach and make music with the students, which they did with great success. What a joy to work with the young baritone Reuben Lillie and perform the Chicago premier of the orchestral version of Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel, along with Debussy La Mer. I am always reminded of the virtuosity of any orchestra that can triumph as this orchestra did in Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to An Orchestra.

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community, education, healing, Roosevelt

The Classical Music Mobs

October 10, 2012

Ever seen one of the classical music mobs that appear randomly all over the world? I think they’re a great testimony for the power of music – perhaps someone emailed you a link to it on you tube? You get to watch people being caught on camera in the cold….moved to tears, to laugh, to dance.

More about what the Knight Foundation has done to help communities all over the country feel the impact of the live performing arts— Since being set up in 2010 there have been over 1000 events organized by the Knight Foundation…and I can imagine it takes some organizing!

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community, innovations, social

El Sistema & The Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela

October 10, 2012

A visionary global movement that transforms the lives of children through music. A new model for social change. — El Sistema

One month after the birth of my 1st child, Audrey (who accompanied me on this trip with my niece, Jessica Cushman) I was honored to be invited to return and conduct again in Venezuela. During my visit to El Sistema in Caracas in 2008, I was astounded by the advanced development of musical training and its effect on its kids of all ages. I felt that these children were cared for, rescued and protected from the dangers of city life through music. Most of the children came from backgrounds that could not have otherwise provided a safe haven for the children to develop, learn and build their esteem, let alone learn and instrument from great teachers. My brother Lukas, principal trumpet of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra was one of many international teachers that provided instruction to El Sistema. Most remarkable was the performance they gave in a rehearsal setting. Their passion for music making, and incredibly high level of performance (topping many a professional orchestras and outplaying any youth orchestra I’d ever heard) gave me a sense of awe and wonderment for this remarkable system. My own sentiments resound with what Placido Domingo said:

The truth is, I have never felt so moved. Not only because of the emotion of the moment… but I must say because of the quality of the El Sistema musicians. — Placido Domingo

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community, education, social

Falling Man, Commemorating 9/11

October 10, 2012

Music has the capacity to help deal with the feelings of pain allowing us to comprehend and process tragedy.

Commemorating the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, Ioannides dedicated a concert in honor of its heroes, as well as the national and local first responders protecting our communities. The concert featured a special World Premiere performance of Kenneth Fuchs’ “Falling Man” using an adapted text from the novel by Don DeLillo and featuring Metropolitan Opera baritone, James Maddalena. In addition to the Spartanburg Festival Chorus, a choir of First Responders from the Spartanburg county performed alongside Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert included works by Mozart, Faure, Copland and patriotic favorites.

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community, healing, living composers
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