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Au Naturel – A trio of pastoral classics for Tacoma Symphony Sunday

Sarah Ioannides - CCOWeeky Volcano by Christian Carvajal


The name of French composer Claude-Achille Debussy may not rattle off your tongue, but you do know his work. “Clair de Lune,” from Suite Bergamasque, boasts one of the most beautiful and adored melodies in Western history. Almost as well-known is “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” a 10-minute symphonic poem that appears in such diverse entertainments as FlashdanceRen & Stimpy, and True Blood.


The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra conductor Sarah Ioannides (pronounced “Ee-oh-NEED-eez”) offers this classic, along with the equally familiar “Symphony No. 6” or “Pastoral Symphony” by Ludwig van Beethoven, Feb. 28. She’s also thrown in a bridging piece, “Harp Concerto in G Minor” by Elias Parish Alvars, featuring Valerie Mussolini-Gordon, principal harpist for the Seattle Symphony.


“The common theme in this program,” Ioannides explained, “is (the composer’s) connection to nature … They’re nature lovers. Being out in the countryside, or, for Debussy, being by the sea, was important to them. To them, nature is the world.”


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Sarah Ioannides – Music Director and Conductor

SPO MagazineHearHere Magazine by Louise Fagan


When Maestra Sarah Ioannides takes to the stage on concert night, one might be forgiven for assuming her seemingly effortless command of the music stems only from her enviable wealth of natural talent. But her journey from her home to Twitchell Auditorium – or as guest conductor in far off countries like Dominican Republic, Austria and Scandinavia – is equal parts study, rehearsal and life management. To not acknowledge the ‘business’ side of managing an international career is akin to admiring the sporting style of a Harley Davidson motorcycle without a nod to its high performance engine.


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Q&A Sarah Ioannides

Tulsa Magazine
Intermission Magazine by Caroline Johnson

What are your expectations as you return to the Tulsa Stage?


I am certainly excited to be returning to conduct the Tulsa Symphony. I really enjoyed my last cisit and so working with the same musicians will be a real pleasure! It is a wonderful group and there is a real sense of joy in their music-making. I am looking forward to that and to this program in particular, which is a feast of great tradition in classical music.


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Tacoma Symphony, north of the Narrows

TSO 102514Kitsap Sun by Michael C. Moore


TACOMA — Sarah Ioannides isn’t just building bridges as the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s music director. She’s also crossing them.


Ioannides begins her second season on the TSO’s podium with a program of spring-inspired music that includes Beethoven’s “Pastorale” symphony (No. 6), and a road trip north of the Tacoma Narrows. The first of a season-opening brace of concerts, Feb. 27, will be at Gig Harbor’s Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, with the orchestra’s home opener set for the next night in the Rialto Theater in Tacoma.


Though TSO has been to Chapel Hill on two previous occasions to contribute to holiday-season performances of “The Messiah,” this is the first full-orchestra march across the Narrows Bridge.


“There seemed to be a keen classical music audience there,” said the Australian-born, London-raised Ioannides, who’s in the second year of a five-year pact to lead TSO.


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Interview: Sarah Ioannides, the conductor

South Sound InterviewSouth Sound Magazine by Joanna Kresge


We asked Ioannides to put down her baton and tell us a little about her life.


Q: What can we look forward to at the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra? 


A: We are doing “Water Passion After St. Matthew.” Water Passion is literally a piece using water as an instrument. We are also doing a U.S. premier of Django Reinhardt’s music … (with) Grammy award winners (and) local talent. We are going to expand our classics programs to Gig Harbor.


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World-renowned trumpeter to join SPO for Valentine’s concert Saturday

LindemannThe Herald Journal by Dan Armonaitis

The last time world-renowned trumpeter Jens Lindemann performed as a guest soloist with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Valentine’s Day pops concert ended in spectacular fashion.

During the grand finale performance of the jazz standard, “A Night in Tunisia,” Lindemann and Spartanburg Jazz Ensemble saxophonist/director Tom Wright engaged in a friendly, improvised duel that concluded with Lindemann playing “Taps” as he lay defeated on stage.

The concert three years ago was such a success that the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra is bringing Lindemann back for another Valentine’s pops concert, which will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium.

“We’re bringing this concert back by popular demand,” said SPO music director/conductor Sarah Ioannides. “Everybody had such a good time that last time, and everybody was asking, ‘When can we have Jens back?’


“We’ve basically got a similar concert, but it’s not identical. There are lots of different numbers.”


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