Symphony Tacoma Announces 2019/2020 Season

July 4, 2019

Symphony Tacoma’s 73rd season will present eight dynamic programs – six classics and two holiday concerts –that span 300 years of captivating classical music. Featuring major works by Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin, the season will also be punctuated by three prominent works by Beethoven in recognition of his 250th birthday.


“I selected Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” (February), The Creatures of Prometheus (March), and “Choral Fantasy” (March) because these works collectively demonstrate the breadth of talent that is Beethoven,” says Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “I think our audience will really enjoy the diversity of the pieces.”


Works by contemporary composers – including one world premiere and two U.S. premieres – will complement the classics to amplify the theme of each concert. “We programmed this season to be an exciting representation of today’s classical music genre,” says Ioannides. “There is so much new and diverse material to draw from – compositions by women, works accompanied by multimedia and works that feature artists who play non-traditional orchestral instruments. We have incorporated a touch of each of these into our season.”


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2nd Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass accepting auditors

May 27, 2019

The 2nd Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass at Pacific Lutheran University with Maestro Sarah Ioannides is accepting auditors and participating auditors until June 1st.  Anyone with a musical background and interest in learning the art of conducting is invited to apply.  Auditors who are accepted to play in the Cascade Conducting Orchestra will receive a tuition discount.  


On Saturday, the 22nd of June at 7:30pm, full masterclass participants will conduct the Cascade Conducting Symphony, led by musicians from Symphony Tacoma, in a final concert that includes music by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Debussy, Mozart, and Rossini.  The concert is open to he public and free of charge.


“Preserving one’s own talent, faith in the music, and performance integrity while navigating a successful path forward is imperative yet challenging! The goal is that great symphonic music and traditions can live on and not only be cherished by generations to come, but be a more relevant and effective platform for peace, expression, and understanding of our world.” – Sarah Ioannides.


To apply, please visit:


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Symphony Tacoma Season Finale presents Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

May 6, 2019

Symphony Tacoma will conclude its 2018-2019 season on Saturday, May 11 with Ode to Joy, a program featuring arguably Beethoven’s greatest work and one of the greatest achievements in the history of Western music. The concert will take place at 7:30 pm in Tacoma’s Pantages Theater.


Opening the program is In Hopes of Finding the Sun, a new work by rising-star American composer Hannah Lash that captures a contemporary woman’s perspective on the famous Friedrich Schiller 1792 poem, Ode to Joy. Commissioned by Symphony Tacoma, the piece will pay tribute to the orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.


“This is my personal response to Beethoven’s Ninth, particularly the Ode to Joy,” says Lash. “It includes full chorus and orchestra, and the text is my own re-imagining of Schiller’s poem which Beethoven set. It is interesting, in approaching a piece that celebrates joy, how deeply profound-almost onerous-the task feels. As artists, we are perhaps more accustomed to responding to painful emotions or creating art that lives in an abstract realm. When approaching a piece about joy and the Divine (in the broadest human sense rather than the religious), the responsibility one feels to make a piece that can sing is truly a solemn one. It is an honor, and I am thrilled to be working with Symphony Tacoma on this project.”


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Symphony Tacoma’s Music Director and Executive Director to Run Tacoma City Marathon

April 25, 2019

Symphony Tacoma’s Music Director Sarah Ioannides and Executive Director Karina Bharne are lacing up their sneakers to run in the Tacoma City Marathon on Sunday, May 5, 2019. They are participating in the half marathon as part of their personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle as well as promoting the impact of Symphony Tacoma to the South Sound community.


“Running is a key part of my fitness regimen that helps to keep me in shape for the podium and maintain long-term overall strength,” says Ioannides. “Like music, it feeds my soul.”


Bharne similarly runs to refuel. “I run to relieve stress and clear my mind so I can focus on what’s most important in my work and home life. Running energizes me-and I take pride in setting and achieving my personal goals.” 


After the two agreed to run the race, they realized what a perfect analogy it is to the work they do with Symphony Tacoma. With a mission of “building community through music,” Symphony Tacoma brings classical music to Tacoma through live performances as well as subsidizing tickets and music lessons for students who would not normally be able to afford them. “We work together every day on and offstage to spread the joy and magic of LIVE music,” says Bharne. “Just as physical activity keeps a body healthy and fit, music enriches a community.”

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Symphony Tacoma Music Director Sarah Ioannides to teach Cascade Conducting Masterclass at PLU

April 7, 2019

Participants of the 1st annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass have said that the first ever conducting masterclass with Sarah Ioannides “dramatically changed my point of view on professional conducting,” and “challenged me to stretch my artistry.”


The second annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass at PLU will feature some additions to the program. It will be one day longer, beginning Monday, June 17th, with the final concert taking place on Saturday evening the 22nd. The Cascade Conducting Orchestra will be made up of 3 times as many Symphony Tacoma musicians as last year, and there will be more quality podium time for each participant (1.5 hours). The repertoire will  feature a composition of Tacoma composer, and PLU faculty member Gregory Youtz. Time will also be dedicated to discussion of the business and media aspects of conducting, including applying and auditioning for conducting positions, crafting a resume, public relations, and how to balance these practical aspects of the business while maintaining one’s unique musical identity.


“…through what is undoubtedly a very challenging business, yet a highly worthwhile and valuable art form, one has to stay true to the music throughout. Preserving one’s own talent, faith to the music and performance integrity while navigating a successful path forward is imperative, so that great symphonic music can live on and not only be cherished by generations to come, but be a more relevant and effective platform for peace, expression and understanding of our world.”
~Sarah Ioannides


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James Carter Joins Symphony Tacoma for Saxophone Fusion

April 3, 2019

Symphony Tacoma welcomes jazz saxophone virtuoso James Carter to the Pantages Theater on Saturday, April 20 as the guest soloist for Saxophone Fusion. The program presents compositions derived from diverse cultures that feature the luscious sounds of the saxophone with the rich harmonies of the orchestra.


Closing the concert is Puerto Rico native Roberto Sierra’s Caribbean Rhapsody (2010). The result of a decade-long collaboration between Carter and Sierra, Caribbean Rhapsody marries classical and Latin jazz influences and showcases Carter’s virtuosity. It draws on Sierra’s memories of growing up in Puerto Rico and the music he heard on jukeboxes-from the sensuous opening boléro, to the Latin riffs reminiscent of son montuno with alternating reflective and spirited music. Sierra wrote the piece as a musical reunion for Carter and his cousin, violinist Regina Carter. Sierra was “curious to see the combination of James and Regina improvising together and also on two different instruments-the sax, basically from the jazz tradition, and the violin, the quintessential orchestral instrument.” The resulting juxtaposition of saxophone and violin, viola, cello and bass is a refreshingly new hybrid of musical elements.


“When I first heard James Carter perform, a whole new set of possibilities opened up in my creative mind,” says Sierra. “I realized that his extraordinary gifts as musician and improviser would be fertile ground for the collaboration that culminated in the writing of Caribbean Rhapsody. I think that what I write is expression that comes from my soul, and a reflection of my own life experiences…This rhapsody not only recalls memories of tropical colors and sounds, but also exposes the pulse of life-the life that I knew growing up in Puerto Rico.”

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Symphony Tacoma’s ‘Rainier Sunrise’ Celebrates Inspirational Music through Time

March 11, 2019

By The Suburban Times


Symphony Tacoma’s March concert comprises elegant and melodic works ranging from the 18th century up to present day. Four works–one each from the contemporary, neoclassical, romantic and classical genres–make up the evening’s repertoire, which will take place on Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 pm in the Pantages Theater.


“This body of work highlights a diversity of musical styles, each inspired by something beautiful in the eyes of the composer,” says Sarah Ioannides, Symphony Tacoma Music Director. “Here in the Pacific Northwest, we can recognize Karel Butz’s reverence of Mt. Rainier’s grandeur, and the romantic in each of us can easily relate to Wagner’s declaration of love to his wife and newborn child. Perhaps not as intuitive are Stravinsky’s wish to reinvent compositions of bygone days or Mozart’s illumination of the play of tones and color between the violin and viola, but each composition is an individual gem that has captivated audiences.”


Performing the solos are Symphony Tacoma’s own Concertmaster Svend Rønning and Principal Viola Thane Lewis. “Both of these musicians are elegant, highly talented and sophisticated,” comments Ioannides. “How splendid that two of our finest musicians–who know the symphony deeply from the inside out–are providing musical inspiration and leadership as soloists in the execution of the most revered of Mozart’s concerti for more than one player!”

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Symphony Tacoma a 2018 Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Performance Grant Winner

February 21, 2019

The 2018 WPA Performance Grant cycle brought a record number of applicants, exciting and diverse concerts to consider, and many wonderful programs to anticipate throughout the years of 2019 and 2020!

As in the past, the strongest applicants programmed works by more than one composer, included works by both contemporary as well as historic composers, with plans for extensive outreach opportunities and collaborations within their communities. Each ensemble demonstrated a commitment to providing a more inclusive and diverse representation of music history, reminding their audiences that there is much more to orchestral music than just the traditional “top 40” classics of Mozart, Beethoven, etc..

The spectrum of works being programmed is also the widest we’ve ever heard – from an arrangement of music by Hildegard von Bingen to new compositions by rising stars. More than one ensemble will be celebrating Clara Schumann on the anniversary of her 200th birthday, and Florence Price’s symphonies will be heard across the country! In addition, new works by Du Yun, Katherine Balch, Julia Adolphe, and many more, are scheduled for performance!

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Scheherazade: Beyond the Silk Road coming to Symphony Tacoma

February 6, 2019

Tacoma – From the glaciers of Mount Rainier to Arabian Nights, Scheherazade: Beyond the Silk Road is a journey of exotic music that will transport the audience from Tacoma to India and the Far East. The concert will take place on Saturday, February 23, at 7:30 pm in the Pantages Theater. 

“The overarching theme of this repertoire is the native voice of humanity telling tales about the land and its people on their journeys,” says Sarah Ioannides, Symphony Tacoma Music Director. “Through the rhythmic excitement of the drum beat and lush, lavish melodies that feel like a magic carpet ride, we will experience diverse cultures and their native heritage.” 

The program begins with Puyallup native Daniel Ott‘s Fire-Mountain, originally commissioned and performed by Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices in 2017. The composition, which paints a musical portrait of Mount Rainier’s melting glaciers, takes its name from a quote by naturalist John Muir: “Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest in form.” 

“I took as my point of departure not only the inspiring nature of our mountain’s setting, but also its very shape,” said Ott. “If one were to trace the outline of the mountain with the tip of a finger, he or she would describe two prominent peaks: Little Tahoma to the east, and Columbia Crest, Mt. Rainier’s summit, to the west. This is this image that encapsulates Fire-Mountain’s musical form.” 

Following Fire-Mountain, Grammy-winning tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das will join the orchestra to perform Dinuk Wijeratne’s Tabla Concerto (2011), a work that inserts the “king” of Indian percussion instruments into a contemporary Western context. Das, who has performed with orchestras around the world, calls the work “the best Western classical piece written for my instrument.” 

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Symphony Tacoma Announces 2018-2019 Season

August 24, 2018

From timeless masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Beethoven, to innovative works by contemporary composers, Symphony Tacoma presents a rich program line-up for its 2018-2019 season. The season includes eight concerts that run from October to May.


For the first time, the Symphony offers six classics concerts, complemented by annual holiday favorites, Sounds of the Season and Handel’s Messiah. Maestra Sarah Ioannides has carefully curated each concert to balance treasured masterpieces alongside contemporary works that are unconventional in both instrumentation and repertoire. “My planning process is a bit like a Rubik’s Cube,” says Ioannides. “I keep working the program until it feels right artistically and musically. It’s hard to put a label on that, but I’m looking for a certain kind of energy and inspiration.” 


The 2018-2019 concert series highlights innovation with works by six living composers and three by women. Prominent guest artists from around the world–masters of instruments ranging from violin and piano to saxophone and tabla-will join the Symphony Tacoma orchestra on stage in the newly–renovated Pantages Theater for all but Barber & Tchaikovsky and Messiah.


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Sarah Ioannides to teach First Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass

May 22, 2018

The first annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass at Pacific Lutheran University will feature principle members of Symphony Tacoma leading the Cascade Conducting Orchestra in a program that will focus on score analysis, baton technique, and will offer 17 plus hours of quality podium time with the Cascade Conducting Orchestra. Time will also be dedicated to discussion of the business and media aspects of conducting, including applying and auditioning for conducting positions, crafting a resume, public relations, and how to balance these practical aspects of the business while maintaining one’s unique musical identity.


“…Through what is undoubtedly a very challenging business, yet a highly worthwhile and valuable art form, one has to stay true to the music throughout. Preserving one’s own talent, faith to the music and performance integrity while navigating a successful path forward is imperative, so that great symphonic music can live on and not only be cherished by generations to come, but be a more relevant and effective platform for peace, expression and understanding of our world.” ~Sarah Ioannides

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Metropolitan Opera star joins Symphony Tacoma for Season Finale: Wagner & Poulenc

May 2, 2018

Metropolitan Opera soprano Kelly Cae Hogan joins Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices for a program of selections by composers Richard Wagner and Francis Poulenc. The concert marks the end of the Symphony’s 2017-18 season and will take place in the Pantages Theater at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2018.


American soprano Kelly Cae Hogan has attracted international attention for her dramatic portrayals in Wagner, Strauss, Verdi and Puccini. She sang Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen for Opera North at the Royal Festival Hall in London, as well as on tour in several other UK cities. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York, she sang in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk as well as Gerhilde in Die Walküre. A native of Iowa, Hogan was a winner of the American Opera Awards and a New York winner of the MacAllister Awards.


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Santa Rosa Symphony Announces New Season

April 19, 2018

By Diane Peterson, The Press Democrat

The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced its 2018-’19 season, which will welcome new Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong for three out of the seven concert sets and bring back Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane and outgoing Music Director Bruno Ferrandis to conduct the final two concert sets.

Feb. 9-11: For this unusual “Love Letters” program, guest conductor Sarah Ioannides, music director of the Symphony Tacoma, will lead works that celebrate the love between a pair of well-known female and male composers. Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s delicate Overture in C major provides the foil for brother Felix Mendelssohn’s stirring Symphony No. 3, “Scottish.” Meanwhile, Clara Schumann’s passionate Piano Concerto, performed by Anne-Marie McDermott, is paired with husband Robert Schumann’s poetic “Manfred” Overture.


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Heaven with Theatrical Flair: Symphony Tacoma Welcomes the Hip Harpist

April 19, 2018

By Chrstian Carvajal of The Weekly Volcano


Since before her first album in 1985, Henson-Conant has been broadening her repertoire to include a variety of styles from Irish traditional to highbrow heavy metal. She plays the instrument she commissioned and helped design, an 11-pound sound machine named for her: the CAMAC DHC Light Blue electric harp. The origin of that custom-built instrument is the subject of her recent TED Talk. She earned a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album for the soundtrack to her 2006 DVD, Invention & Alchemy.


Her upcoming appearance with Symphony Tacoma falls on Earth Day, so Henson-Conant seized on that opportunity to feature songs about the earth and our place in it. She sees her own role — in this case, in front of an orchestra — as a symbolic bridge between the individual human and her planetary community. She notes the organic construction of many classical instruments, which ties their resonant personalities to the natural world and reminds us yet again of our interdependence within it.


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Journey Into the Unknown: Symphony Tacoma Presents a Trio of Titans

March 22, 2018


By Christian Carvajal of the Weekly Volcano


Symphony Tacoma will present Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 10” this Sunday alongside Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, which was written in conscious homage to Beethoven’s Ninth, and a Haydn concerto that highlights the talents of principal trumpeter Charles Butler. “This seemed just the right timing and program to feature (Butler),” said Ioannides, “who has had an incredibly wonderful career, formerly also the principal of Seattle Symphony.” Butler, who began his career with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, is the principal trumpeter for Portland Opera and a substitute for Oregon Ballet Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet.


“Everybody will take away different meaningful moments,” Ioannides says of an upcoming Tacoma rendition. “I always recommend to a listener, when you hear something for the first time, to lose any sense of expectations and … allow it to take you on a journey into the unknown. … Look for the beauty of contrast. Look for the complexity of polyphonic lines … Follow the peaks and valleys, as you would exploring any new landscape.”

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December 12, 2017

The National Youth Orchestra, South Africa’s symphonic national team, will perform the Fourth Symphony of Tchaikovsky, and Stravinksy’s playful neo-classical Pulcinella Suite in Pretoria and Johannesburg from 14 to 16 December 2017.


These performances will be done under the baton of acclaimed United States conductor Sarah Ioannides, who is listed as one of the top 20 female conductors worldwide. Ioannides’ dynamism has won praise from audience and critics alike. Her engagements have taken her to five continents. This tour will mark her South African debut.


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Conducting’s glass podium: Female music directors are still rare, but the Northwest has nurtured some

November 30, 2017

Melinda Bargreen for the Seattle Times

When the Seattle Symphony presents its annual “Messiah” Dec. 15-17, there will be a woman on the podium…


This is a milestone worth considering. The mere fact that female conductors are a comparative rarity around the world, at a point in history when women instrumentalists are commonplace — female orchestra musicians make up 36 percent of the Seattle Symphony — is an indication of the glacial rate of progress for women in ascending the podium.

The Australian-born Ioannides was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of several female conductors cracking the “glass podium” and was termed part of “a new wave of female conductors” by The New York Times.


This busy 45-year-old conductor has divided her time among directorships of Symphony Tacoma and the Spartanburg (North Carolina) Philharmonic, plus the family’s East Coast base (her husband, trombonist Scott Hartman, teaches at Yale University). With a 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old twins, and regular guest-conducting trips to Europe, life has been hectic.

Ioannides observes that there is “the opportunity now for women to make a lot of progress — even though we still make up only about 7 or 8 percent of orchestral-music directors. There needs to be more. And are we just token females, or are we given the same opportunities and the same pay?”


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A heartwarming Sounds of the Season with Tacoma Youth Chorus

November 22, 2017

The Pantages Theater stage will be brimming with musicians and instruments, including singers from 4th grade through high school, when Symphony Tacoma presents the annual Sounds of the Seasons program, featuring the Tacoma Youth Chorus. A cherished tradition in Tacoma, the pageant-style concert—conducted by Sarah Ioannides and Judy Herrington—features beloved carols, hymns and songs, including “The Little Drummer Boy,” “My Favorite Things,” “Joy to the World” and “Greensleeves,” among many others.


The program is studded with other great names and titles in choral and seasonal music: Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Dance, Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on “Greensleeves,” Eric Whitacre’s “Glow,” John Rutter’s “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” Prokofiev’s “Troika,” and Leroy Anderson’s “Christmas Festival.” Symphony Tacoma’s frequent collaborator Bo Ayars has created arrangements of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” and Richard Kountz’s “The Sleigh.” Sarah Ioannides has orchestrated Judy Herrington’s composition for women’s choir, “Stars Tonight,” which will receive its premiere during the performance!


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Seven vocal soloists featured in music of West Side Story during Season Opening

September 13, 2017

Symphony Tacoma will open its 2017-2018 Season with the first official observance of the highly anticipated Bernstein Centennial in the Pacific Northwest. Music Director Sarah Ioannides, whose contract with the Symphony was recently extended through 2024, will present a program featuring music from the composer/conductor’s most famous musical, West Side Story; his film score for On the Waterfront; and his opera Candide.


Joining her will be the Symphony Tacoma Voices and a cast of seven vocal soloists: Tess Altiveros as Maria, Elizabeth Galafa as Anita and Francisca, Bianca Raso as Rosalia, Dawn Padula as Consuela, John Marzano as Tony, John Arthur Greene as Riff, and Caisey Raiha as Bernardo.


West Side Story, a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is set in 1950s New York City, with the Montagues being replaced by the Anglo Jets, and the Capulets by the rival Puerto Rican Sharks. The magical partnership of Bernstein and lyricist Stephen Sondheim resulted in energetic, emotional music paired with clever, memorable lyrics.


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Symphony announces contract extension of Music Director Sarah Ioannides

June 30, 2017

Symphony Tacoma has extended the contract of Music Director Sarah Ioannides through the 2023-2024 Season, Board President Clark D’Elia announced today.


“We are delighted to announce the extension of Maestra Ioannides’ contract,” stated D’Elia.  “In just three seasons, the changes she has implemented—both artistic and programmatic—have been remarkable.  She has wholeheartedly embraced and been embraced by the community, building the Orchestra’s artistic capacity, forging collaborative relationships, and bringing a new caliber of guest artists to the concert stage.  The Board is extremely pleased with the results, and we look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership for years to come.”


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Symphony Tacoma premiere, about Mt. Rainier’s melting glaciers

May 13, 2017

From The HUB of the League of American Orchestras


Washington’s Symphony Tacoma has been collaborating this spring with the Museum of Glass, Hilltop Artists Video, and Mount Rainier National Park in preparation for the May 13 world premiere of Daniel Ott’s Fire Mountain Symphony. Leading up to the concert, area residents participated in events designed to raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s rapidly melting glaciers. In March at the Museum of Glass, student artists worked with ice and molten glass in a joint performance-art event with Symphony Tacoma musicians, who played composed and improvised music as glass-blowers worked. Video footage from the event will be incorporated, together with images of Mount Rainier, for a video art piece to accompany the May 13 world premiere, led by Music Director Sarah Ioannides and featuring Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices. The molten glass is meant as “a metaphor for the flowing magma within the mountain, and the ice reflects the changes to its exterior,” says the orchestra in a press release. Composer Daniel Ott is a native of Puyallup, Washington.


Posted May 12, 2017

Mountain and Sea season finale brings together multiple art forms to give artistic voice to Mount Rainier’s melting glaciers

May 10, 2017

The World Premiere of a new symphonic work. A multimedia experience featuring video, glass art and music. A symposium exploring changes to the delicate ecosystem of the Mountain and its glaciers. A collaboration between the Arts and the National Park Service. A once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity for area high school students. Symphony Tacoma’s Mountain and Sea season finale is all this and more.


Conceived by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, Mountain and Sea is a collaborative effort between Symphony Tacoma, Museum of Glass, Hilltop Artists and Mount Rainier National Park to create a cross-disciplinary multimedia artistic event culminating with the Symphony’s season finale. Commemorating the Centennial of the National Parks System, the project will engage area residents in music and glass art and raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate.


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More than a concert: Symphony Tacoma Concert gives voice to Mount Rainier through music and glass art

May 10, 2017

Conceived by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, Mountain and Sea engages Symphony Tacoma, the Museum of Glass (MOG), Hilltop Artists, Lincoln High School orchestra students and Mount Rainier National Park in a multimedia artistic event culminating with the May 13 concert. In commemoration of the Centennial of the National Parks System, the multi-layered project will engage participants in music and glass art and raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate. The capstone of the project and the season finale will be the world premiere of Fire-Mountain, the new symphonic work by Daniel Ott.


It has been a privilege to support Dan, Derek and especially Sarah in the long run-up to this concert.  Elements of the project have been in Sarah’s mind since the early days of her tenure, and we have literally been writing grant proposals, building bridges with collaborative partners, and otherwise planning the event since the spring of 2015!


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Sarah Ioannides named a delegate to first annual Global Cultural Leadership Summit in Abu Dhabi

April 4, 2017

Music Director Sarah Ioannides has been invited to the inaugural Global Cultural Leadership Summit in Abu Dhabi, taking place from Sunday, April 9th to Thursday, April 13th, 2017. CultureSummit 2017 is the world’s first event that convenes leaders from the worlds of the arts, media, public policy and technology to address the role that culture can play in solving some of the greatest challenges of our time.


The summit will seek to bring together delegations to discuss common interests, create new collaborations and address in concrete ways challenges ranging from the preservation of cultural heritage to understanding the disruptions likely to be associated with emerging technologies, from bringing arts education to the young to finding new ways to finance the arts, from combatting threats like extremism to developing public policies that promote creativity and social development.


“Our lives are much richer for having Sarah leading Symphony Tacoma,” stated Greater Tacoma Community Foundation President & CEO Kathi Littmann. “Sarah’s vision, passion, and talents are worthy of international recognition. I know she will be a powerful ambassador for Tacoma’s arts community.”


“We are quite thrilled that Sarah was invited to participate,” said Clark D’Elia, President of Symphony Tacoma. “In working with her the past several seasons, we have come to recognize her thought leadership regarding the important role of music in our modern culture. Her participation in this event aligns well with the Symphony Tacoma Mission:  Building community through music.”


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Global Culture Summit to be held in Abu Dhabi

March 17, 2017

CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi, the world’s first truly global cultural leadership forum, will kick off in just one month, and will bring together an extraordinary group of the world’s top creative minds to discuss culture and the significant role they play in addressing the universal challenges faced in our present time.


Over the course of five days, from April 9 – 13, 2017, at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, nearly 300
participants from over 80 countries around the world, including key players involved in the fields of government, arts, philanthropy, heritage preservation, education, media, science and technology, will explore in a multidisciplinary approach a wide range of topics all focused on answering how cultural tools can be used to help address significant international challenges and seize emerging opportunities.


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Organizations Unite for Climate Awareness

March 14, 2017

Symphony Tacoma, the Museum of Glass (MOG) and Hilltop Artists are collaborating with Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP) in a project culminating with the Symphony’s 2016-2017 Season Finale on May 13, 2017. In commemoration of the Centennial of the National Parks System, the multi-layered project will engage area residents in music and glass art and raise awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate.


Art responds to life, and by building relationships in the community, art can serve as a catalyst for education, growth and transformation in a region. Through a process of community collaboration and working in multiple mediums, this partnership seeks to produce an inspiring experience, leaving participants sobered by the gravity of the ecological situation, but hopeful and empowered to undertake an active role in protecting our region.


This collaboration could happen nowhere else!


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SPO presents “Immortal Beloved” concert in February

January 24, 2017

Sarah Ioannides returns to the stage to lead the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) with an evening of beautiful and intimate classical music, showcasing some of Spartanburg’s finest musicians. The concert will be held on Saturday, February 4 at 7:00pm in Twichell Auditorium at Converse College. 


In August of 2015, Maestro Ioannides announced that she would be stepping down from the podium, ending her 12 year tenure with SPO in the spring of 2017. For the February 4th concert, her penultimate performance with this symphony, Sarah has prepared a program specially for Spartanburg with well-known and joyous classics by Fauré, Mozart, and Beethoven. The concert will open with Gabriel Fauré’s famous Pavane, op. 50 which will feature the Spartanburg Sings choral ensemble.


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Acclaimed saxophonist Amy Dickson performs Northwest premiere of groundbreaking Philip Glass arrangement

November 11, 2016

amy_dickson_1200px_cropped-341x242Grammy-nominated saxophonist Amy Dickson—2016 Young Australian of the Year—will perform the Northwest premiere of her arrangement of Philip Glass’s 1987 Violin Concerto with Symphony Tacoma.  Conducted by Sarah Ioannides, the program will also include Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town.  The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 19 in the Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway.


Gramophone has described Amy Dickson as “a player with a difference who has an individual and unusual tone, luscious, silky-smooth, sultry and voluptuous by turns.”  In 2013 she became both the first saxophonist and the first Australian to win a Classic Brit Award, as MasterCard Breakthrough Artist of the Year.


AllMusic, in reviewing the disc, declared that “Dickson… makes the Glass concerto sound as though it was written for her instrument, rather than the violin.”


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A Tacoma classic has a new name

October 21, 2016


Symphony’s rebranding sets new tone for the future


TACOMA, WA—It was christened the “College of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra” at its first concert back in 1946.  It was renamed the “UPS-Tacoma Symphony” some 13 years later, then the “Tacoma Symphony Orchestra” in the ‘60s. Inevitably, to most of its core patrons and stakeholders, it has been known for years as just plain “the TSO” or “the Symphony.”


This fall, in conjunction with its 70th Anniversary, the organization formerly known as “TSO” will receive a new name. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present… your Symphony Tacoma!


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Sarah takes Stage!

October 8, 2016

spo_premiereThe 2016­/2017 season marks the 12th and final year that Sarah Ioannides will serve as Music Director of the SPO. With ONLY THREE concerts left in her tenure, you won’t want to miss a chance to see the Maestro at work here in Spartanburg!


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Sarah Ioannides, former CSO assistant conductor, returns to Cincy!

June 15, 2016

CincinnatiMusic director candidate and former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Sarah Ioannides returns to the Queen City with a program fusing together French, classical, Latin American and jazz musical worlds.


The use of the saxophone in the Milhaud acts as an intro to the jazz idiom featured in the world premiere of Grammy Awardwinning composer Roberto Sierra’s Caribbean Rhapsody, written for powerhouse saxophonist James Carter. In 2004, James received the Dr. Alaine Locke Award for exemplary leadership in the promotion of African American culture.


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Tacoma Symphony’s 70th Anniversary Season finds a revitalized organization with new artistic leadership and vision

March 26, 2016

South Sound InterviewWorld Premiere homage to Mount Rainier, Glass “Saxophone Concerto,” and return of violinist Vadim Gluzman highlight Sarah Ioannides’ third season.


From the unusual and striking to the familiar and cherished, the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-2017 reveals a robust, revitalized artistic institution with visionary leadership that is taking the orchestra to new heights.


Sarah Ioannides’ third season is a blend of innovation and tradition, and a remarkable demonstration of her skills as a musical curator.  Guest artists include violinist Vadim Gluzman, whom Strings Magazine described as “fire walking while fiddling”; saxophonist Amy Dickson, just named the 2016 Young Australian of the Year;  and Korean violinist Kristin Lee, praised for her “mastery of tone” by The Strad.


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Violin Prodigy to Perform with the SPO

November 10, 2015

Enigmatic EvolutionSPARTANBURG, SC— Brilliant prodigy and acclaimed soloist Kristin Lee is set to perform with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, November 14 at 7:00pm in Twichell Auditorium. Lee will take the stage to deliver Sibelius’s epic Violin Concerto, op. 47, a virtuosic piece that is darkly melodic and hauntingly beautiful. Maestra Sarah Ioannides has programmed this exciting music with two equally impressive works: Dreamtime Ancestors by Christopher Theofanidis and the classic Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.


Lee, recently honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician.  A rising star, she was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juilliard’s Pre-College Symphony Orchestra.  Since graduating Julliard with a Masters in violin performance, Lee has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony of Korea, and many others. She has appeared on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery.


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Tonkünstler Orchestra returns to Sparkassensaal in Vienna

October 28, 2015



“The renowned Tonkünstler Orchestra conducted by Sarah Ioannides performed in the newly renovated Sparkassensaal that now equals locations like the Gragenegg or the Musikverein in Vienna. (…)


The performance was enthusiastically honored by the concert audience: With more than 450 fans of classical music the concert on October 24 was excellently attended.”

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Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra Announces Music Director Finalists

August 14, 2015

Nielsen Still Fav_1The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has announced the five finalist candidates for the position of Music Director who will lead the orchestra starting in fall, 2016. They are: Donato Cabrera, Sarah Ioannides, Kelly Kuo, Daniel Meyer, and Eckart Preu. The position of Music Director of the CCO has only been held by four conductors in the past 41 years: Paul Nadler (1974-1984), Gerhard Samuel (1984-1991), Keith Lockhart (1992-2000), and Mischa Santora (2001-2014).


“We at the CCO were both humbled and flattered to receive nearly 200 applications from three continents for the position of Music Director,” said search committee chair and Board Vice President Wes Needham. “The committee has spent over six months in its review, and has had the pleasure of getting to know many talented candidates. The CCO has a long history of excellence in artistic leadership, and we have labored enthusiastically to find a passionate, vibrant leader to continue our tradition of world-class chamber music. We are excited to arrive at this stage in our process, and announce the five finalists for the next Music Director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.”


Sarah Ioannides will be familiar to Cincinnati audiences, since she is a former assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and former Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra (2002-2004).


“I am thrilled to return to Cincinnati and feel very honored to be selected as a finalist in the Chamber Orchestra’s search for a new Music Director,” said Ms. Ioannides. “Cincinnati has remained in my heart since I left the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s conducting staff and took the reins of my own orchestras. I am excited about the possibilities ahead for Summermusik and look forward to creating a very special, exciting and memorable evening with the orchestra next summer!”


Ms. Ioannides will guest conduct the CCO at her audition concert that will take place August 27, 2016.


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Sold out 2014-15 Classics Series in Tacoma

August 14, 2015

Tacoma Concert CollageMusic 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.”


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Departure from Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the end of the 2016-17 season

August 13, 2015

PugetSoundAfter 10 seasons with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor Sarah Ioannides announces her departure at the end of the 2016-2017 season.


“Spartanburg is, and always will be, an important and very special part of my life – not only for me but for my family as well.  The last ten years have been musically inspiring.  I am so very proud of the orchestra and everything we have accomplished,” Ioannides said.  “I firmly believe the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will continue to be successful, long into the future, standing strong as one of the premier musical establishments in the region.”


“She is a remarkable artist who brings unmatched passion and generosity to her work. Though I will truly miss our partnership, I know I can look forward to celebrating her future accomplishments” said SPO Executive Director, Kathryn Boucher.


“Spartanburg has been very fortunate to have a young rising star like Sarah at the artistic helm of the SPO since 2005. In partnership with orchestra musicians she has raised the artistic level and reputation of the SPO both locally and nationally,” said Music Foundation Board President Ray Dunleavy.

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Upcoming Season Promises New Artistic Heights

July 5, 2015

TSO 102514

Stravinsky Rite of Spring, Tan Dun Water Passion, expansion to five Classics programs highlight Sarah Ioannides’ second year


The buzz from Music Director Sarah Ioannides’ inaugural season—in which all four Classics concerts sold out—continues to reverberate throughout the South Sound, and the 2015-2016 season promises to pulse at a whole new level. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra has unveiled additional changes and updates to its 2015-2016 Season line-up, announced earlier this year.


“My first season as Music Director has been a deep delight,” stated Sarah Ioannides. “A special joy has been getting to know the community of patrons and supporters. It has been wonderful to feel the energy of the audience from the stage. I look forward to an ever-deepening relationship with the orchestra, audience and community.”


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Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra presents free Memorial Day Pops concert

May 14, 2015

Memorial Day PosterMusic Director Sarah Ioannides and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a Free Memorial Day Pops concert on May 25 at the Zimmerli Amphitheater at Barnet Park starting at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature songs of patriotism, jazz and pops and will end with a spectacular fireworks show. Celebrated jazz singer Dr. Tish Oney will join the orchestra as guest soloist along with Emma‐Brooke Alley, child soprano who performed with the SPO during the Holiday Classics and Messiah concert in December. Studio 62’s host and producer Jamarcus Gaston will be the honored MC for the evening.


Executive Director Kathryn Boucher stated, “The SPO is delighted to return to the Zimmerli Amphitheater at Barnet Park for an exciting night of Pops and fireworks! We are so grateful to the City of Spartanburg for partnering with us on this event and we look forward to making this an annual concert in the future. Bring your picnic blankets, friends and family and be ready for a spectacular show!”


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League of American Orchestra’s – “NEA Funding Broadens Access for Underserved Communities & Young Students”

May 4, 2015

neablueToday the League of American Orchestras incorporated the audience engagement opportunities the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra created for its community into their testimony in order to continue support for the National Endowment of The Arts.

Together with the organizations it supports, the NEA is dedicated to improving public access to the arts. An Art Works grant made possible the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s presentation of a new concerto written for percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, a master class, and a lecture-demonstration exploring the importance of listening skills with Glennie, who is profoundly deaf. The orchestra sent its co-principal percussionists to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind to work with music students for two days preceding Glennie’s visit, teaching the students about rhythm and creating sounds. When Glennie arrived in Spartanburg, the students performed on stage for her alongside the co-principal percussionists, and then learned directly from Glennie afterward. With just two full time staff and 60 musicians, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra was thrilled and excited to bring such a meaningful project to its community and to students who could learn from such a uniquely accomplished artist.

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SPO Announces 2015-2016 Season: “Inspirations from Around the World”

April 23, 2015

15-16ad_SPOThe Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra led by renowned music director and conductor Sarah Ioannides, announces its upcoming 2015-2016 season. With new programming, additional concerts, a vibrant ‘Music Sandwiched In’ series, three exciting youth concerts, a lineup of world famous guest artists, and the annual Memorial Day Pops concert, this season promises to inspire and enable music lovers with “Inspirations from Around the World”.

Music Director Sarah Ioannides said “As we close this exciting last season and prepare to open a new season together, I am able to reflect on the wonderful journey of the last ten years and look to new, fresh and exciting programming that I know our audience is passionate about! With the orchestra sounding at its very best and a roster of a few of the best musicians on the international concert stage today, the concerts will spotlight different countries from around the world, starting farther away and with home visits throughout and closing the season in South America where we celebrate very close to Cinco de Mayo!”

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Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra presents “Pictures at an Exhibition & Tchaikovsky’s Violin”

March 31, 2015

SPO_AprilThe Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, will step onto the stage for the Grand Season Finale on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at 7:00 pm in Twichell Auditorium, for an eclectic and dynamic concert titled, “Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky’s Violin.”

A fabulous mix of visual and audial artistry, this performance will feature solo violinist Vadim Gluzman as he performs the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D, and painter Julyan Davis who will be painting live on stage during the concert.

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Sarah Ioannides to conduct the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra

March 27, 2015

PugetSoundTACOMA, WA – Sarah Ioannides, the new music director at Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO), will raise her baton to lead the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra at a free April 24concert.  Ioannides will be guest conductor at the place where the TSO had its start: the University of Puget Sound campus, where the orchestra grew under the leadership of Edward Seferian, professor of music and “Father of the TSO.” This is believed to be the first time a TSO music director has returned to the campus to conduct the college’s own student orchestra.

“I am delighted to be conducting the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra this spring,” said Ioannides. “The Tacoma area is fortunate to have such a fine institution as Puget Sound, with students and faculty who hold to a very high level of quality and excellence.


“The program we selected is one that I would choose for a professional orchestra-a program that will showcase the students’ talents, as well as present a few exciting challenges along the way-and be thrilling for the audience, too!”

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Song, Pipe, and Dance Stars Shine in Tacoma Symphony’s Songs from the Emerald Isle

March 17, 2015


TACOMA, WA – Music Director Sarah Ioannides’ own Celtic program Songs from the Emerald Isle to showcase song, pipe and dance stars alongside the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, March 22nd at 2:30 p.m. at the Pantages Theater.  Songs from the Emerald Isle features tap dancer Trent Kowalik, uilleann piper Andrew Thomson, and soprano Kaitlyn Lusk, nationally acclaimed for her performances in the Lord of the Rings Symphony.

Ms. Lusk made her major orchestral debut with the Baltimore Symphony in 2003 at the age of 14.  Kaitlyn has been the featured vocal soloist in Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Symphony, performing this role with more than 50 of the world’s finest orchestras and renowned conductors.  Her expanded role in the Live-to-Projection performances of the Lord of the Rings films has brought her center stage at Radio City, Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Munich, Lucerne, Singapore, Paris, Taiwan, and Chicago.  At Shore’s request, she performed the Academy Award winning song “Into the West” as part of the Grammy Honors in New York City.  In 2012 alone she performed with five of the world’s greatest orchestras—Munich, Rotterdam, Chicago, Sydney and London.

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Spartanburg Philharmonic receives $20K national grant

February 11, 2015

SPOnewLast March, Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra executive director Kathryn Boucher wrote a letter to the National Endowment for the Arts, requesting a grant to assist with worldrenowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie’s guest appearance with the SPO this week. It worked. In early December, NEA chairperson Jane Chu announced that the SPO was to receive a prestigious Arts Works grant for $20,000.

In a written statement, Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works, including the award to the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people, and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

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The National Endowment for the Arts awards the Spartanburg Philharmonic with $20,000 Art Works Grant

December 10, 2014

art_works_logo_grid(Spartanburg, SC) – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced today that the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra has been awarded a $20,000 grant to support outreach events and an orchestra performance with visiting percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.

The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra has invited Dame Evelyn Glennie from her hometown of Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom to Spartanburg, SC for the week of February 12-16, 2015. Glennie, who is profoundly deaf, is considered to be one of the most eclectic and innovative percussionists of our time. The Valentine’s Day concert, featuring Glennie and the SPO, will present a new percussion concerto featuring the waterphone entitled “Portraits of Immortal Love” by composer Sean O’Boyle written specifically for Glennie. The world premier of this concerto was performed in late October with SPO’s Music Director Sarah Ioannides and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

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Press Release: Pianist Charlie Albright to return for Tchaikovsky & Beethoven- high demand leads to venue change

November 2, 2014

sarah&charlieTACOMA, WA – Pianist Charlie Albright, born in Pierce County and raised in Centralia, will return to the region to perform with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra under the direction of new Music Director Sarah Ioannides on Sunday, November 23rd at 2:30 p.m. Albright has become a national star and is an emerging star on the international scene as well.  Talented from an early age, Albright has been praised for his “jaw-dropping technique” by The New York Times and hailed as “among the most gifted musicians of his generation” by the Washington Post. He was awarded the prestigious 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and previously received the 2013 Arthur W. Foote Award and the 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award.

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The Era of Sarah kicks off with Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra

October 13, 2014

Evelyn Glennie performs on the drums during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic StadiumPress Release: Tacoma Symphony Orchestra


TACOMA, WA – Percussion superstar Dame Evelyn Glennie will take center stage with her vast array of instruments this coming October when the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra opens its 2014-2015 performance season. The October 25 season opener will also mark the inaugural concert of new Music Director Sarah Ioannides, whose appointment was announced late last year on the heels of a two-year search encompassing a hundred international applicants.


Held in Tacoma’s historic Pantages Theater, the concert will feature the world premiere of Portraits of Immortal Love, a new percussion concerto written expressly for Ms. Glennie by composer Sean O’Boyle. Portraits is written in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War I. Also on the program will be Ravel’s Bolero, Debussy’s Nocturnes, and Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Bolero is famous for its repeating, lyrical melodic line and ostinato snare drum beat, which gradually builds in volume to a crashing conclusion. The Debussy and Respighi are big, colorful works as well, which together with the Ravel and O’Boyle will make for a spectacular, exciting evening of music.


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Opening Night: “Fire, Sun and Water”

September 5, 2014

SeptPoster-3Spartanburg, S.C. – Celebrating its 10th Anniversary with Maestra Sarah Ioannides, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra will present its Opening Night concert on September 13, at 7:00 p.m. in Twichell Auditorium. There will be a pre-concert chat from 6:15 – 6:45 with Converse Faculty member Chris Vaneman in the Lawson Academy Recital Hall.

Unfortunately, due to an issue with a travel visa, our guest artist Andreas Boyde, will be unable to travel from London to the US to perform with us.  We welcome to the stage our outstanding new soloist, Charlie Albright, who will perform Tchaikovsky’s much loved Piano Concerto No. 1. The orchestra will also perform Carl Nielson’s Helios Overture, and the ‘Moldau’ from Ma Vlast, by Bedřich Smetana. “We are going to present a program filled with the vibrancy of nature, the powerful imagery of the God of the Sun in Nielsen’s Helios Overture combined with the beautiful flowing river of Smetana’s My Country“, said Maestra Ioannides.

“The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra is excited to present our Opening Night concert with such a commanding pianist as Charlie Albright. His charisma and talent will reflect the high quality of Guest Artists that Music Director Sarah Ioannides has lined up for her 10th Anniversary Season in Spartanburg. We are looking forward to a powerful and celebratory season with Sarah’s remarkable guidance!” said SPO’s Interim Executive Director, Kathryn Boucher.

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Latest News: Dame Evelyn Glennie to partner with TSO and SPO:

May 16, 2014


 Read the latest newsletter here

  • Dame Evelyn Glennie to Perform World Premier by Sean O’Boyle with Ioannides & TSO
  • Tacoma Symphony Orchestra  announces 2014-2015 Season
  • Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra announces 2014-2015 season
  • Debuts with Toledo, Tulsa and New Haven Symphony
  • Ioannides debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia
  • World Premier Tap Concerto by Scharnberg, US Premier of Marianelli Suite
  • Spartanburg Philharmonic performs Carnegie Hall Link Up Program, & partners with Ballet Spartanburg

SPO Announces 2014-15 Concert Season

April 2, 2014

Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra announces its 2014-15 concert season that will mark the 10-year anniversary of Sarah Ioannides as the Music Director.  – Press Release


The season will include performances at Converse College’s Twichell Auditorium and at Chapman Cultural Center’s David Reid Theatre. The season will open with the return of famed German pianist Andreas Boyde in concert with SPO performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with Smetana’s much-loved the Moldau from Ma Vlast. Other season highlights will be a Christmas concert that will include portions of Handel’s Messiah, alongside the return of Spartanburg Day School Children’s Choir, a Valentine’s Day concert titled “Romantic Portraits and Preludes” with double Grammy-winning percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, with Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet Fantasy. Profoundly deaf since childhood, Glennie will give public talks and masterclasses during her stay and SPO is in discussion with SCSDB to partner in outreach events. (South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind) The Spring 2015 performance will feature another return by highly popular international Israeli violinist, Vadim Gluzman, for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. He will play on Leopold Auer’s violin –  the authentic Stradivarius that debuted this concerto. The orchestra will also perform Mussorgsky Pictures at An Exhibition and collaborate with the School Districts in the 3rd Annual Art and Music Project.


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New Haven Symphony Presents the Emerald Isle

March 7, 2014

New Haven Symphony Press Release: Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra Pops is celebrating the Irish tradition with The Emerald Isle.  Conductor Sarah Ioannides will lead soprano Kaitlin Lusk, uilleann pipe player Andrew Thomson, tap dancer Trent Kowalik, and the NHSO in a collection of tunes from the Old Sod compiled by the conductor.  Saturday, March 15 at 2:30pm at Hamden Middle School, and Sunday, March 16 at 3:00pm at Shelton Intermediate School.  Tickets are on sale now at

One highlight on the program will be a world premiere performance of Tour de Tap, a concerto for orchestra and dancer by composer Kim Scharnberg.  The piece was conceived to highlight the unique talents of dancer TRENT KOWALIK.  Trent, now a freshman at Princeton University, began dancing at age 3 at the Inishfree School of Irish Dance.  He won multiple step dancing national titles in the United States, Ireland, England, Scotland, and ultimately, the 2006 World Championship. Trent then relocated to London’s West End to perform the title role in Billy Elliot: The Musical, and ultimately he opened the show on Broadway.  At age 14 he won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical, as well as the Theater Fans Choice Award, Fred Astaire Award, Theater World Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award.  Upon “retiring” from the show Trent studied at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet Theater.

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Tacoma Symphony Orchestra Announces 2014-15 Season

February 26, 2014

World Premiere with percussionist Evelyn Glennie, performance by violinist Vadim Gluzman highlight first season under Sarah Ioannides 

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.  Ms. Ioannides, who was selected last December after a two-year international search encompassing more than 100 prospects, will conduct her first concert as Music Director on October 25, 2015.  Hailed by The New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority,” Sarah Ioannides was a prize-winner of the Leeds Conducting Competition and was also awarded the JoAnn Falletta award for the most promising female conductor.

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Sarah Ioannides appointed Music Director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra

December 20, 2013

“We are delighted that Sarah Ioannides has accepted our invitation to join the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra as its new artistic leader,” stated TSO President Dick Ammerman.  “Her spectacular debut with the Orchestra last February made a deep and lasting impression on the Board, orchestra and patrons.  We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership that will take the TSO to new heights of artistic vibrancy and community engagement.”

“The news of my appointment comes with great happiness to me,” said Sarah Ioannides. “The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra found a way into my heart in February 2013. The experience we had making music together was very special that week. Not only did I find great chemistry with the musicians, but also felt at one with the audience that evening, and with the entire community during my weeklong visit. It will be my great honor to work with the Tacoma Symphony in partnership with its superb team of musicians, staff, board, and supporters. I embrace my future in Tacoma with excited anticipation of changing times for orchestras. May we be part of the wave that brings music to more and more people’s hearts from all walks of life, and sustain the gifts of music through engaging live performances over the next decade.”

Ms. Ioannides’ memorable TSO debut included Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, Rota’s Divertimento Concertante and Shostakovich’s gripping Symphony No. 5.  The News Tribune wrote that her performance “combined sterling precision with deep, nuanced expression,” and remarked, “If its first finalist is anything to go by, the Tacoma Symphony won’t have a problem choosing a new artistic director that’ll take them to higher musical places.”

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Sarah signed by new US Management: Castellano Artists

August 23, 2013

Castellano Artists welcomes Sarah Ioannides.

Founded in 2012 by Joseph Castellano, Castellano Artists’ mission is to serve the ever-changing performing arts community, meeting the needs of client, presenter and audience.  A client-first mindset and focused, personal attention to a select roster of artists and special projects is what makes Castellano Artists stand apart. Joseph Castellano’s involvement in the performing arts industry began in 2005 at Opus 3 Artists (then ICM Artists) where he worked with internationally acclaimed conductors, instrumentalists, composers, vocalists, and touring attractions.


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Bright Days and Romantic Nights in the Mediterranean

May 15, 2013

The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra will be presenting a special program with works inspired from the history, myths, atmosphere, temperament and characteristic rhythms of Cyprus, Spain and Italy. The Orchestra joins forces with the distinguished artists maestro Sarah Ioannides and pianist Elena Mouzalas to interpret the Symphonic Poem Anerada for Piano and Orchestra by Andreas G. Orphanides, Manuel del Falla’s Nights in the gardens of Spain for piano and orchestra and Symphony no.4 (“Italian”) by Felix Mendelssohn. Two concerts will be given at 8:30pm on Thursday 23 May 2013 at Pallas Theatre, Paphos Gate, Nicosia, and Friday 24 May 2013 at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol.

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What Does Music Look Like?

April 17, 2013
“Spring Secrets” by Jillian Hoffman, 10th Grade, Spartanburg High School
100 years ago, the Russian composer Stravinsky wrote The Rite of Spring concert and ever since the music has created images in the mind’s eye. On May 4, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sarah Ioannides will perform The Rite of Spring at Converse College. In preparation of that concert, Spartanburg students have been listening to and studying the music. Their task: Create visual art that represents the music. The Chapman Cultural Center is proud to host the exhibit of student artwork that gives visual color and form to the music that caused a near riot in Paris when it was first performed.The public is invited to view this exhibit…

April 18-May 4. Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday, 1-5 p.m. No admission fee.

Special Invitation…
Free Public Reception… Tuesday, April 23, 6 p.m.

Spartanburg Philharmonic To Celebrate 100 Years of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with Concert and Art

April 5, 2013

Press Release – Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra

It’s hard not to see images in your mind’s eye when you hear Igor Stravinsky’s famous Rite of Spring symphony. If nothing else, you remember seeing Disney’s 1940 cartoon movie Fantasia that used the score to depict the dramatic creation of the universe and prehistoric Earth.

In celebration of TheRite of Spring’s 100 birthday, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Music Director, Sarah Ioannides, will perform this passionate and “avant-garde” work Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in Twichell Auditorium at Converse College. In addition to hearing this emotionally stirring concert, patrons will also get a glimpse into the mind of students who will exhibit their visualization of the music in an art exhibit.

“This concert will touch people on many different levels,” conductor, Sarah Ioannides said. “we will take it a much bigger step further in presenting it to the community. We will show people what this music might actually look like to from the young artists perspective.”

For the past several weeks, high school students in Spartanburg School Districts 1, 2 and 7 have been asked to listen to the recorded symphony and to create visual art—paintings, drawings, sculptures—that reflects the music. This exhibit will be shown in part on the night of the concert. It will be shown in its entirety at Chapman Cultural Center starting April 18.

Art in Progress from Spartanburgs School Districts

The accompanying art exhibit is being created by students in grades 9 through 12, involves six schools, and both music and art teachers. More than 300 pieces of artwork are anticipated being produced. From that large pool of contributors, four local judges—Kathy Zimmerli Wofford, Arts Teacher for the Chapman Cultural Center; Sarah Ioannides, Project Director for the Rite of Spring Schools Arts Project; Richard Higgs, Dean of Arts at Converse College; and Tom Rickis, incoming president for the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg—will select the final exhibitors.

To give all the students who participated the opportunity to have their work shown, a comprehensive slide show is being created and shown at the Chapman exhibit, during the concert, and at other related events, such as Spartanburg High School’s Spring Concert on April 11.

View photographs of more art from Spartanburgs School Districts

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Egyptian Pianist to Tackle Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini…

March 28, 2013

Doubly Hard

Egyptian Pianist to Tackle Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini…

When Egyptian pianist Wael Farouk performs Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra he will play a piece of music known to be doubly difficult. Music Director, Sarah Ioannides will conduct this concert along with a performance celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at the final concert of the season –  Saturday, May 4.

“Wael is a world-class pianist, who will make this music thrilling to anyone,” Ioannides said. “There is no doubt in my mind that his performance will be stellar. And what a treat it will be to have someone with a strong Spartanburg connection play a piece of music so well known. When you combine this with our other piece—The Rite of Spring—this last concert of the season is guaranteed to get people excited.”

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First of four conductor finalists ascends the podium this month

February 12, 2013

Press Release – Tacoma Symphony Orchestra

TACOMA, WA—After 18 months of planning, preparation, and a thorough international search, the TSO Board is on the eve of welcoming the conductors who will vie to ascend the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director’s podium. Maestro Harvey Felder conducts his final concert in the spring of 2014—his 20th Anniversary as Tacoma’s artistic leader. The first of four finalists for the position of music director will conduct the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra this month.

Hailed as “a conductor of unquestionable strength and authority” by The New York Times, Sarah Ioannides was named by the Los Angeles Times in 2009 as “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium.” She will lead the TSO in a program framed by Glinka’s Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla and Shostakovich’s gripping Symphony No. 5. In between, Principal Double Bass Chris Burns will be the featured soloist in Nino Rota’s rarely performed Divertimento Concertante.

Read the complete announcement on Tacama Symphony Orchestra’s website link here.

Program notes by Beth & Andy Buelow here.


Spartanburg Philharmonic Presents Valentine’s POPS Concert

January 29, 2013

Press Release: Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Music Director Sarah Ioannides and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra continue the 2012-2103 Concert season with a special POPS concert on Valentine’s Day at 8:00, featuring guest artist, Jens Lindemann on Trumpet and Spartanburg’s Jazz Ensemble.

The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s POPS concert will offer a wide array of jazz and romance favorites perfect for Valentine’s Day. The program will consist of selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Somewhere over the Rainbow, Gilliland’s Dreaming of the Masters, an Ellington Medley, Caught a Touch of Your Love with Spartanburg Jazz Ensembles’ vocalist, Jean Calvert, Nice and Easy with vocal from Darin Dotson and many more wonderful songs. Also there will be a guest appearance by local attorney, William “Billy” Gunn.

Read More

League of American Orchestras Spotlights Spartanburg Philharmonic

January 25, 2013

The Hub – Media View

Concert Review: Spartanburg Philharmonic gives U.S. premiere

In Monday’s (1/21) Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina), Leah Harrison writes, “The Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s Saturday evening concert serves as an example of the organization’s success in the realms of newness and experimentation. Musical Director Sarah Ioannides—a champion of both contemporary composition and women in music—programmed the U.S. premiere of Andrea Tarrodi’sLucioles (Fireflies), introduced by the composer via a projected video…. Tarrodi explained her compositional process and read the haiku that inspired her piece: By the lily leaves/ the fireflies anchor/ the lake is illuminated. … At 10 minutes in length, Lucioles shimmered and fluttered, creating a glowing soundscape that was at once serene and lively. Through much of the piece, the strings played a variety of quick rhythmic figures, but the layered parts maintained a buoyant airiness. Principal Cellist Brenda Leonard and Concertmistress Joanna Lebo traded solos throughout, anchoring the atmospheric tinkling with more substantial melodic material.” Also on the program were Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D Major with Michael Ludwig, and the composer’s Second Symphony.

– Posted January 22, 2013

Exciting young conductor, cellist take stage for final BPO concert before holiday season

November 29, 2012

A highly-sought-after cellist with an acting career. A dynamic conductor who has won the JoAnn Falletta Award for Most Promising Female Conductor. These two guest artists make the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s last concert before the holiday season sure to be a memorable evening.

Today WNED’s Peter Hall found out more. Listen here…Radio Interview leading up to performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Romantic Treasures will unite cellist Zuill Bailey and conductor Sarah Ioannides onstage with your BPO in performance of some of classical music’s most heartfelt works, including Mendelssohn’s Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances.

Chautauqua Symphony audiences enjoyed a concert with Ioannides at the podium this summer, and she has returned to the region to enthrall Buffalo audiences.  She has been widely hailed as one of the leading young British/American conductors in the world today. Her past positions have included assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony; music director of the El Paso Symphony; and assistant conductor to Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun. Currently music director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, she is known for community outreach and innovative programming. She has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including the JoAnn Falletta Award for the most promising female conductor.

Romantic Treasures will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo. One hour prior to each concert, patrons have the opportunity to learn more about the music they will hear from conductor Sarah Ioannides and ask questions at a pre-concert “Musically Speaking” talk, sponsored by Uniland Development. Tickets for Romantic Treasures start at $27 and are available by calling (716) 885-5000 or visiting

Announcing New Site Launch

October 9, 2012

Announcing the launch of – the new website of conductor, Sarah Ioannides. The site has been designed by a carefully chosen team to express Sarah’s artistic vision and her passionately felt thoughts on the sustainability of classical music in today’s society.

Strategic Direction: Sarah Gunn, Natacha Poggio & Sarah Ioannides
Creative Design Direction: Natacha Poggio
Web Design and Development: Nikki Lee
Content Advisors: Robert Norman & Sarah Gunn
Photography: Tom Concordia

Sarah Ioannides has recently signed with the following managements: Loddingkonsert in Scandanavia, Iberkonzert for Spain and TenSixtySix Management for the rest of Europe. Please visit the contact page for more information.

Please attend Sarah’s upcoming debut with the Louisville Orchestra on October 12th, 2012, featuring Sharon Isbin, guitar in Schwantner’s Guitar Concerto “From Afar”, Sibelius Symphony No.1 and Elgar In the South Overture (Alassio).

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