Music 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.”