By The Suburban Times
Symphony Tacoma and George Li will take on one of the most technically-challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire in Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto, Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm in Tacoma’s Pantages Theater. The program will begin with Fanfare for Sam, a tribute to composer Samuel Barber written by Composer in Residence David Ludwig, and Brahms’ poetic Symphony No. 3.
At 24, George Li is one of the most talented classical pianists of his generation. Music Director Sarah Ioannides has performed with Li many time, first collaborating with him onstage with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela when he was just 12 years old. “I am very excited to bring George to Tacoma,” says Ioannides. “He is such an extraordinary musician—that was evident even when he was a tween! His gift for expression, his maturity, interpretation and technical ability are just astounding. The Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto with George will be an amazing and lasting experience for all.”
Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto offers an immense challenge to stamina and endurance for the soloist, with minimal moments of respite. Uncommon for a concerto in the big Romantic tradition, Rachmaninoff saw the soloist as an alert, flexible, responsive musician who knows how to blend, accompany, and listen.
By James Bennet II and Max Fine, WQXR New York Blog
There’s something magical about watching a conductor at work — how they internalize the work before them in all its component parts, in turn uniting the ensemble and bringing the music to life. It seems an almost superhuman effort. But conductors are human too, and like the rest of us, sometimes they think about what else they might have done instead of walking onto a podium with their baton.
We asked eleven of them what other career paths they might have taken. Here’s what they had to say.
“I envision myself a neuroscientist, studying the effect of classical music on brain development; how we are changed as performers, students, listeners and ultimately as members of a civil society. I believe we would show its value to humanity and society, an essential component of education, as important as Math, English and the Sciences; even its role in peace-making, and the optimal wiring of our minds. Invigorated by my work as a neuroscientist, and inspired by nature and the animal world, I would spend the weekends as an environmental scientist / conservationist who is also a pilot, free like a bird to explore the beauty of our planet.”
By Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Democrat Gazette
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-19 season will be full of orchestral showpieces — not necessarily large in length, but featuring big orchestral forces, says its music director and conductor, Philip Mann.
Nov. 10-11: Guest Sarah Ioannides, music director of Symphony Tacoma and [formerly] Spartanburg (S.C.) Philharmonic Orchestra, will conduct a program that opens with Joan Tower’s Made in America and includes “Vltava” (better known as “The Moldau”) and “Sarka” from Ma Vlast (My Fatherland) by Bedrich Smetana and the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.
The News Tribune by Rosemary Ponnekanti
Inventive met traditional at the Tacoma Symphony concert Sunday in the Pantages Theater, both between pieces and within them. The orchestra bookended the afternoon program with a United States premiere by Portuguese composer Luis Tinoco that scattered musicians throughout the theater and the highly conventional “Reformation” symphony of Mendelssohn, while violin soloist Caroline Goulding injected the 112-year-old Sibelius concerto with imaginative sound.
The awed audience member who uttered a solo “Whoa!” after the baton dropped summed it up for all of us.
It doesn’t feel like a historical moment. The University of Puget Sound orchestra is at rehearsal number 121 of the fourth movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. As the strings come in for the unison, the horns are struggling with clef changes, and the cymbalist looks a little uncertain of where he is. The brass don’t quite make their triumphant entry, and the conductor stops them.
“You’ve got to get into the cycle of before your entrance to breathe in time,” the conductor says patiently, voice stuffy with a thick cold and 18 hours at an airport the night before. It’s Sarah Ioannides, new music director of the Tacoma Symphony, who’s rehearsing the university’s orchestra for their free concert Friday (April 24) — and making a little Tacoma history at the same time as the first TSO conductor to unite the two institutions since Edward Seferian began the orchestra back in 1959.
“This is an opportunity to make Sarah’s first year in Tacoma special,” said Keith Ward, chairman of the university’s Music Department, as Ioannides moved on to the third movement, pulling the second violins into their difficult opening with encouraging warmth. “She’s coming back to the roots of where the TSO began.”
The 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!”
TACOMA, Wash. – 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 24 concert.
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.
“We know Sarah’s deep connection to and profound belief in music education, and we celebrate the opportunity to bring her back to the roots of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra during her first year,” he said.