Tag Archives: Sarah Ioannides

Music and Mount Rainier’s Melting Glaciers

12 May

More than a concert:  Symphony Tacoma’s  Mountain and Sea gives artistic voice to Mount Rainier’s melting glaciers

Date: Saturday, May 13
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Pantages Theater, Tacoma
Tickets: stat at $19. Visit www.tacomasymphony.org  or call 253-591-5894

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.

The capstone of the project is the multimedia world premiere of Fire-Mountain, a new symphonic work by Daniel Ott, commissioned by Symphony Tacoma.  A musical portrait of natural wonders, Ott’s Fire-Mountain utilizes 155 musicians, including the 85-piece Symphony Tacoma and 70-person Symphony Tacoma Voices. The work will be accompanied by an art film produced by Derek Klein, multimedia director at the Museum of Glass.  Projected above the stage during the premiere, the film will feature images of the mountain combined with footage shot at a recent glassblowing event in the hot shop, during which Hilltop Artist students created glass art using fire and ice in response to improvisatory music by Symphony Tacoma musicians.

Also on the program will be Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, featuring “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” and Debussy’s impressionist masterpiece, La Mer.  The concert, sponsored by Boeing and underwritten by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, will take place at 7:30pm Saturday, May 13 at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma.  For tickets, visit tacomasymphony.org or call 253-591-5894.

Silent Sentinel

For the residents of Pierce County, Mount Rainier is a silent sentinel, always present on the horizon and guarding life in the South Sound area. In 2015, scientists released a sobering report warning of the rapid recession of the mountain’s glaciers—the largest on a single peak anywhere in the contiguous United States—and the ecological consequences that will soon follow.  The geography of the region, with its mountains and valleys intertwined with the many-fingered Salish Sea, is unique in the world.  Here, mountain and inland sea interact in ways not seen elsewhere.

Mountaintop Experience

On Wednesday, May 10, Sarah Ioannides will join the string orchestra students from Lincoln High School during a daylong field trip to Paradise on Mount Rainier. Symphony Tacoma has a special relationship with the Lincoln High students; string players from the Orchestra spend eight weeks during the school year embedded there as coaches and mentors.  On this day, the students will trade their instruments for snow shoes as they explore Paradise, hear presentations about the extensive glacial system, and learn from Ioannides and Ott about the creative process and how an artist responds to external events to create art.  Later in the week, the students will be guests of honor at the dress rehearsal, along with National Park Service officials.  Lincoln High School has the highest rate of poverty of any school in Pierce County.  Its thriving orchestra program, under the direction of Symphony Tacoma violinist Cynthia Iverson, is an important creative outlet and lifeline for students.

Not just a concert—an event

Prior to the concert, subscribers and donors will be invited to a fascinating Music Mixer panel discussion, held in Studio 3 at the Pantages, featuring Ioannides, Daniel Ott, climatologist Mike Warner, and Mount Rainier National Park Deputy Superintendent Tracy Swartout. The lobby will include informational displays staffed by NPS officials.  Hilltop Artist students will also be on hand with displays of their glass art from the March 16 Fire and Ice event.  The panelists will also participate in a post-concert question-and-answer session in the lobby, open to all.

“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,” stated Sarah Ioannides.  “Through a process of community collaboration and working in multiple mediums, this partnership seeks to produce an inspiring experience, empowering participants to undertake an active role in protecting our region.”



Fourth episode of Tacoma’s own ‘artTown’ TV show now available

31 Mar
Stan Shaw and Michael Sullivan discuss Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Stan Shaw and Michael Sullivan discuss Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with its Community and Economic Development Department’s Arts Program – has begun airing a new episode of “artTown,” a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides

In this episode:

  • Get to know music director Sarah Ioannides and learn how her past experience is influencing her work with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
  • Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo explores our history and future at the Chinese Reconciliation Park
  • Historian Michael Sullivan and graphic artist Stan Shaw take an in-depth look at Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable and how it was influenced by Hammett’s time in Tacoma
  • Pianist Kim Davenport finds inspiration and contemplation at Thea’s Park
  • The 6th Avenue Yarn Bomber, Russell Valentine, Gwen Demarest, and Roberta Lowes give us a humorous look at knitting culture in Tacoma
Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Launched in October 2013, the series features diverse perspectives on a variety of creative disciplines. Offering a more holistic look at creativity in Tacoma, “artTown” stretches beyond what people might traditionally think of as “creative” – such as fine art, music or dance – to spotlight other creative areas of interest that have flourished in Tacoma like food, fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more.

Online viewing:

Watch “artTown” anytime at cityoftacoma.org/artTown.

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at the Chinese Reconciliation Park

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at the Chinese Reconciliation Park

TV Tacoma air times:

Mondays at noon
Tuesdays at 1 a.m.
Wednesdays at 8 a.m.
Thursdays at 6 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 5 p.m.
Sundays at 5 a.m.

TV Tacoma is aired on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems. On Click!, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where TV Tacoma can be found on Channel 21. On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma city limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. TV Tacoma is not on the Comcast system in University Place, but is accessible anywhere on the Internet at tvtacoma.com.

Future episodes will be produced in part based on some of the audience feedback culled via social media, email at maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org or phone at (253) 591-2054.

Celebrating a new artistic era for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra

22 Oct
Sarah Ioannides will take the stage on Saturday for her inaugural concert as Music Director for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Mark Olencki.

Sarah Ioannides will take the stage on Saturday for her inaugural concert as Music Director for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Mark Olencki.

This Saturday will mark the official start of a new artistic era for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO). Sarah Ioannides, TSO’s new Artistic Director, will take the stage to conduct her inaugural concert featuring percussion superstar Dame Evelyn Glennie. 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. A concerto is a full-length musical work that showcases an instrument or set of instruments, accompanied by orchestra. 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.

World-renown percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Photo by James Wilson.

World-renown percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Photo by James Wilson.

Dame Evelyn Glennie, who is profoundly deaf, is the first person in musical history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. As one of the most eclectic and innovative musicians on the scene today she creates performances of such vitality that they almost constitute a new genre. Awarded Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2007, the double Grammy award winning artist gives more than 100 concerts a year worldwide. Her diversity of collaborations includes visual mixing of live music with the likes of DJ Yoda and the ‘Beat Boxer’ Shlomo. Other collaborations include Nana Vasconcelos, Kodo, Bela Fleck, Björk, Bobby McFerrin, Sting, The Kings Singers, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In July 2012 Glennie was featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London. Born in Scotland, Glennie is based in the countryside of Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.

This will mark a fitting opening to the era of Sarah Ioannides, who mounts the TSO podium as the TSO’s first new music director in two decades, on the heels of the historic tenure of Harvey Felder. Hailed by The New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority,” Sarah Ioannides is a passionate advocate of classical music through innovative projects, community engagement, education, and championing new works. The British conductor is a versatile musician, whose past studies include violin, viola, piano, and French horn, as well as singing, recorder, saxophone, and guitar. Ioannides served as Assistant conductor and Production Coordinator to Tan Dun, composer of the music for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for many multimedia performances worldwide.

The TSO has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape since 1946, and has operated as a professional symphony orchestra for the past 19 years. With 80 contracted musicians and an affiliated community chorus, the TSO brings music into the lives of 20,000 citizens annually throughout the South Puget Sound.

This concert, one of the premier events of Tacoma Arts Month 2014, is sponsored by Gordon Thomas Honeywell and the City of Tacoma Anchor Fund. Ms. Glennie’s appearance is underwritten by the Tacoma Philharmonic Endowment Fund and the Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Foundation.

Tickets for this concert are sold out but this is just the start of the 2014-15 season and there are 7 other concerts lined up. Find out more about the TSO’s season and purchase tickets for upcoming concerts by visiting www.tacomasymphony.org or calling 253-591-5894 or toll free at 800-291-7593.

Welcome to Tacoma, Sarah Ioannides!

20 Dec

IoannidesThe Tacoma Symphony Orchestra announced today the appointment of Sarah Ioannides as their next Music Director. The appointment comes after an international search spanning two years and encompassing more than 100 prospects.

Described by The New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority,” Ms. Ioannides’ dynamic presence has won praise from audiences and critics internationally with engagements spanning five continents.  Her initial contract with the TSO spans a full five seasons, effective on July 1, 2014.  She is already at work with TSO officials in planning her inaugural season, which is slated to open on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

“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.”

Music Director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, and Music Director of the El Paso Symphony from 2005-11, Sarah Ioannides is a passionate advocate of classical music through innovative projects, community engagement, education, and championing new works.   She writes a blog chronicling her efforts and those of others at her website at sarahioannides.net.  In a recent example, the Spartanburg Philharmonic held a performance last spring marking the centennial of the premiere of Stravinsky’s groundbreaking Rite of Spring.  As part of this, Ioannides initiated a county-wide project in which art students were invited to create an art piece that directly reflected the music.  Several hundred captivating student works were exhibited in a juried art show and displayed in public locations throughout the city’s center.  An active online presence, Ms. Ioannides maintains an ongoing dialogue with a legion of fans on Facebook and on Twitter.

The Australian-born, British conductor is a versatile musician, whose past studies include violin, viola, piano, and French horn, as well as singing, recorder, saxophone, and guitar.  She earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from Oxford University, an Advanced Certificate in Conducting from the Guildhall School of Music in London, a Diploma in Conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied as a Fulbright scholar, and a Masters in Orchestral Conducting from the Juilliard School of Music.  Ioannides served as Assistant conductor and Production Co-ordinator to Tan Dun for many multimedia performances worldwide.

In addition to her concerts with the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Ms. Ioannides’ upcoming itinerary includes performances with the Toledo, Tulsa and New Haven symphonies, the National Symphony Orchestra of Columbia, and the Brevard Sinfonia.  Recent engagements include the Rochester Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Nationale de Lyon, and the Flemish Radio Orchestra.   Past positions include Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops and Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

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