‘Lush European Classics’ Comprise Symphony Tacoma’s November Performance

‘Lush European Classics’ Comprise Symphony Tacoma’s November Performance

Sarah Ioannides | Symphony Tacoma Music Director | Female Conductor and Composer

‘Lush European Classics’ Comprise Symphony Tacoma’s November Performance

Symphony Tacoma continues its 75th Anniversary Celebration with its second of six classics concerts on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. This concert features a lush collection of melodic European classics.

“This program is a gorgeous mix of both classical and neo-classical works in a collection of important short gems. A beautiful Parisian flavor weaves its way throughout the program reminding us of the city’s place as one of the most important centers for music creativity,” said Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “I’m also thrilled to welcome our own principal flautist Mary Jensen as soloist for both Mozart and Faure, as well as sharing music by the remarkable Chevalier de Saint-Georges that has been unjustly forgotten.”

The program will open with Symphony No. 2 by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Bologne was regarded as one of Mozart’s most accomplished contemporaries and the first classical composer of African descent. He is often referred to as the “Black Mozart,” which is a broad contextualization as he was globally renowned throughout his life—even called “the most accomplished man in Europe” by U.S. President John Adams. This work stands out for the elegant detail of its craft, giving the illusion of seamless ease.

REVIEW: Together in Music

REVIEW: Together in Music

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

Together in Music

Rosemary Ponnekanti, South Sound Magazine

Classical music reviews don’t often include the audience as an integral part of the performance. But everyone in the almost-full Pantages concert by Symphony Tacoma Saturday night — their first in person since the pandemic began — realized this crucial point: If music brings our community together, then the audience is just as vital a part as the performers.

First up — after an emotional rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with conductor Sarah Ioannides encouraging audience singing — was Color Express, the first movement of the first symphony by Patrice Rushen. Four-time Grammy winner Rushen is known for mastering a multitude of genres: jazz, pop, R&B, and classical. She’s a singer-songwriter who’s also a TV music producer and director, concert pianist, and composer.

Her aptly named Color Express charges through the orchestra, pulling apart its colorful timbres in a language that’s like Bernstein in a hip New York jazz bar. The ascending syncopated theme rises through dancing violins, solo woodwind and laidback brass, with a futuristic fusion that’s always sophisticated, never trite.

(…)

Ioannides remained superbly in control, (…), insisting on wider and wider dynamic arcs and gracefully reminding the audience that those moments between movements — without applause — are the hushed expressions of a thousand people all feeling the same thing.

Symphony Tacoma promises to be Tacoma’s symphony, bringing the South Sound community together through music. The rest of its 2021-22 season echoes that promise, featuring composers and soloists from the region and the world, female and male, from a diversity of races, from the LGBTQ community and across the centuries to finish with an expression of light and hope beyond death (Mozart’s Requiem and the youth-composed Eternal Light).

It’s good to be back together in music.

Symphony Tacoma Welcomes Pianist Charlie Albright to Open 75th Anniversary Season

Symphony Tacoma Welcomes Pianist Charlie Albright to Open 75th Anniversary Season

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

Symphony Tacoma Welcomes Pianist Charlie Albright to Open 75th Anniversary Season

Symphony Tacoma will open its 75th Anniversary Season on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. The concert will feature a selection of works from different eras that offer hope and healing.

“This program is a celebration of Symphony Tacoma’s first 75 years as well as a thank you to our community for their ongoing support. It is also a tribute to the hardships and losses our world has experienced over the past year,” said Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “We are all so incredibly happy to finally be able to bring back Symphony Tacoma, in person, and I have been longing for this moment for months!”

The concert will open with composer and musician Patrice Rushen’s vibrant Color Express, the first movement from her first symphony, Sinfonia. “I selected this piece for its thrilling energy, bursts of happiness and symphonic sounds that call for new voices,” said Ioannides. “It reflects Patrice’s desire to bring momentum and energy into African American compositions being performed by orchestras following the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Symphony Tacoma Releases Original Works by Pacific Northwest Composers

Symphony Tacoma Releases Original Works by Pacific Northwest Composers

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

Symphony Tacoma Releases Original Works by Pacific Northwest Composers on YouTube July 17

Made possible through a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Symphony Tacoma Music Director and Cascade Conducting Artistic Director Sarah Ioannides championed a new, innovative program enabling six composers to have their works performed and recorded by Symphony Tacoma musicians. Select recordings will premiere on the Symphony Tacoma YouTube channel on Saturday, July 17 at 7:30 pm PST.

The project arose through a new collaboration with Cascade Conducting, which completed its fourth year this June, enabling both conductors and composers to work together to create new pieces of music. The 2021 class of 18 conductors worked alongside the composers under the mentorship of Symphony Tacoma’s new composer-in-residence program which is led by the new Dean of Music at the Juilliard School, David Serkin Ludwig.

“The results were spectacular on both sides of the program!” said Ioannides

The participating composers included Mieke Doezema, Brian Morales, Jorge Morales, Mark Pritchard, Randall Smith and Elise Winkler. Over the week of June 26, the students worked diligently alongside Ioannides and Symphony Tacoma musicians to bring their compositions to life in a digital performance. Selections from this performance have been compiled into a program that will premiere on the Symphony Tacoma YouTube channel on July 17 with members of the 2021 class of conductors on the podium.

Newsletter: Season Highlights I Summer 2021

Newsletter: Season Highlights I Summer 2021

Newsletter: Season Highlights I Sarah Ioannides Music

The world pandemic led me to find creativity in new ways in 2020-21, discover new skills, overcome challenges, and seek new partnerships. It is with the greatest of thanks to my team-workers, mentors, colleagues, family, students, supporters and followers that I can share with you 15 months of projects, both live and digital!