Described by the New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority,” Sarah Ioannidesʼ dynamic presence on the podium has won praise from audiences and critics alike for bringing fresh ideas, original programs and exciting performances to orchestras across the globe. Immediately recognized by the orchestra and audience as a ‘conductor with magic’ she will take up a new position in July 2014 as the Music Director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra in a five year contract.
Sarah Ioannides’ conducting engagements span five continents with recent appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. She has also guest conducted the Orchestra Nationale de Lyon, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Wurttembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Västerås Sinfonietta and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra. Her recording with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Lara St. John was reviewed by Gramophone music magazine as “directed with panache by Sarah Ioannides”, which features the Suite from the Red Violin by John Corigliano and two world premiers.
Music Director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, Ioannides’ successful tenure is characterized by cultivating traditions and establishing effective community relationships through creative programming. “The orchestra and its Music Director, Sarah Ioannides, offered compelling proof of the value and importance of an orchestra.” (Spartanburg Herald Journal.) She also served as Music Director with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra between 2005-2011 where she was highly recognized by her innovative programs, multimedia creations, and developing a younger audience: ”once again, Ioannides was dazzling as she led the orchestra in an exhilarating performance” [El Paso Times].
Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 2002-4, she served as the Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, and was the first woman appointed to the conducting staff of the Cincinnati Symphony. Former Conductor & Production Coordinator with composer/conductor Tan Dun, Ioannides has since directed new multimedia productions including commissioning new films for Holst’s The Planets, and Steve Reich’s The Desert Music. A dedicated supporter of living composers Ioannides has conducted over 35 World, US & European premiers, including works by John Corigliano, Dario Marianelli, Tan Dun, Kenneth Fuchs, Luis Tinoco and Jennifer Higdon. As a conductor of opera, Ioannides led the European premiere of Stephen Paulus’ The Woodlanders, garnering acclaim from the Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph in the UK.
She has served on numerous advisory boards and as a competition adjudicator, and has most recently served as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts.
With Masters degrees from both Oxford University (Instrumental Scholar) and the Juilliard School of Music (Bruno Walter Award), Ioannides studied violin, piano and French Horn. Recipient of many prizes including the Leeds Conducting Competition and JoAnn Falletta Award, Ioannides was awarded a Fulbright Scholar to attend the Curtis Institute of Music with Otto-Werner Mueller.