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Sarah Ioannides New Music Director of Tacoma Symphony Orchestra 

An international search spanning two years and encompassing more than 100 prospects has reached a triumphant conclusion with the appointment of Sarah Ioannides as the next Music Director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

Artist Spotlight in Tacoma's Showcase Magazine

Showcase Magazine's Spring Issue proudly introduce their new Music Director Sarah. (P.15)

Read article in Showcase Magazine

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra  announces 2014-2015 Season

Percussion superstar Evelyn Glennie and internationally acclaimed violinist Vadim Gluzman are among the guest artists appearing on the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-2015 concert lineup, the inaugural season of new Music Director Sarah Ioannides. 

View Season Plans

Dame Evelyn Glennie to partner with TSO and SPO in a World Premier Percussion concerto by Sean O'Boyle

What do the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra have in common besides fabulous conductor Sarah Ioannides? Concerts with double-Grammy winning percussionist Evelyn Glennie during their 2014-2015 season!
Glennie will perform the world premier of Sean O'Boyle's Portraits of Immortal Love, inspired by stories endured 100 years ago and showing the power and aching beauty percussion can bring to our emotional state, featuring as diverse instruments as Waterphones, Hand Bells, Singing Bowls and Wind Chimes. Listen to Sean O'Boyle's music here as this new concerto is being created.

Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra announces 2014-2015 season 

“The 2014-15 season for Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will be wonderful and a wonderful tribute to our conductor Sarah Ioannides,” Keysie Maddox, SPO Executive Director said. “She has put together a season that will honor the classics, introduce us to new music, and will bring some of the world’s most talented and celebrated musicians to Spartanburg.”

SPO’s recent innovative programming has reached national recognition with world premieres and creative community projects. Recognized by the League of American Orchestras, “The orchestra and its Music Director, Sarah Ioannides and this Philharmonic deserve celebration for their commitment to ensuring that this orchestra is ours, that it reflects and helps bind together the Spartanburg community” (published in Symphony News and The Spartanburg Herald Journal, 2013).


Debuts with Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Symphony & New Haven Symphony

In programs featuring Saint Saens Organ Symphony No.3 & Carnival of the Animals, Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos, Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony No.4, Bach Brandenburg Concerti Nos. 2 & 5, Sarah also conducted a Saint Patrick's Day Program titled "The Emerald Isle" featuring a world premier of a new tap dance concerto by Kim Scharnberg written for Tony Award Winner & former Broadway Billy Elliot star, Trent Kovallik. Program also featured soprano, Kaitlyn Lusk & Uillean piper, Andrew Thomson.

Pictures by Joe Crawford Photography
New Haven Symphony gives world premier of "Tour de Tap" by Scharnberg


Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra partners with Ballet Spartanburg

Featuring Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf, choreographed by Carlos Agudelo & narrated by NPR music commentator, Miles Hoffman, the orchestra's new family concerts paired up Copland Appalachian Spring at Chapman Cultural Center. See photos of the reception in the lobby and children enjoying the dancers & art works here.

Second Annual Art & Music Program

Last year the SPO's launched a unique project specifically aimed at engaging young artists. In its second year, this project led to over five hundred works of art being created by teenage students throughout the Spartanburg County with an active response to the music inspired by Copland's Appalachian Spring. The captivating results are now being exhibited at the Spartanburg Chapman Cultural Center in a juried art show. Enjoy more pictures and see the winners here.

 “Great art enriches the world in its creation and its effect to inspire others."      - Ioannides 


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.


Upcoming Concerts include :

Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra 
Douglas Weeks, piano 
Bernstein: West Side Story Selections
Marianelli: Anna Karenina Suite (US Premier)
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Ravel: Bolero

Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra 
Annual Schools Performances Carnegie Hall’s Link Up:
The Orchestra Moves

Spartanburg Philharmonic 
Spartanburg Festival Chorus, Tharanga Goonetilleke
Wayne Hobbs, Pamela Williamson & Jason McKinnney
Alan Harrell, cello 
Rossini: Silken Ladder Overture 
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C 
Mozart: Requiem

National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia
Wagenaar: Taming of the Shrew Overture
Nielsen: Helios Overture
Victoria Borisova-Ollas: Open Ground
Grieg: Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
Sibelius: Symphony No.1

Brevard Music Festival
Juan Miguel Hernandez, viola
Britten: Four Sea Interludes
Walton: Viola Concerto
Elgar: Enigma Variations

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
Evelyn Glennie, Percussion
Ravel: Bolero
O’Boyle: Portraits of Immortal Love (Concerto for Percussion & Orchestra) WORLD PREMIER
Debussy: Nocturnes
Respighi: Pines of Rome

View full schedule here.


Premiers and New Works

World Premier of Tour de Tap by Kim Scharnberg 

Picture by Joe Crawford Photography

US Premier of Academy Award Winner, Dario Marianelli's
Anna Karenina Suite

South American premier of Victoria Borisov Ollas
Open Ground


Community Engagement

Sarah talks with the Girl Scouts in New Haven. March 2014

Kids see Tulsa Symphony perform with their "Carnival of the Animal" poems through Partners in Education program. February 2014

Spartanburg Philharmonic partners with Spartanburg Day School Children's Choir in Dec 2014


"She had the Tacoma symphony playing to the hilt, and the standing audience along with her”  The News Tribune (Tacoma)    

"Superb Performance, Impressive Programming ....and it’s obvious her future is very very bright”  Chautauquan Daily

"The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra....directed with panache by Sarah Ioannides"  Gramophone Magazine

"Ioannides baton drives Intoxicating Performance" El Paso Times

"She was especially impressive..Västeras Tidning (Sweden)
“…Ravishing and Authoritative..”  Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester)

“The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra reminded us of the innovative programming that has come to characterize the orchestra under the direction of Sarah Ioannides ”  Spartanburg Herald-Journal    
”once again, Ioannides was dazzling as she led the orchestra in an exhilarating performance El Paso Times

“...all performed expertly with a sohpisticated guest conductor  Democrat & Chonicle, Rochester                                                                                            
“Treasures smolder with Passion... a standing ovation..In the right hands, though, this music can smolder. Saturday’s concert proved that.”  Buffalo News        

"The orchestra and its Music Director, Sarah Ioannides, offered compelling proof of the value and importance of an orchestra.  Spartanburg Herald Journal.


Sarah Ioannides appears by arrangement with

     Castellano Artists in North America & Europe

     Xenia Evangelista communications in Germany


           IBERKONZERT in Spain


" Engage, protect and sustain our musical heritage; the return is invaluable. ”

                           -  Sarah Ioannides