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.

Cascade Conducting Online Masterclass 2021 – Apply Until June 10th

Cascade Conducting Online Masterclass 2021 – Apply Until June 10th

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

Cascade Conducting Online Masterclass 2021 – Application Deadline extended to June 10th

Cascade Conducting Masterclass Online with Sarah Ioannides will take place June 17th-23rd, 9am-4:30pm Pacific Time (Saturday and Sunday off)
The 2021 Online Masterclass will be held via Zoom. 

Full participants will be included in all discussion and will have personal video and relevant materials (resume, website, etc.) reviewed by Maestra Ioannides. Each full participant will receive private one on one consultation from Maestra Ioannides.

Auditors will be present for all sessions, but will mostly keep the audio muted during discussion.

The opportunity for exclusive private consultation and personal video and materials review is reserved for full participants.

Full scholarships are available, view scholarships here.

REVIEW: The Andalusian Youth Orchestra pays tribute to Piazzolla under the direction of Sarah Ioannides

REVIEW: The Andalusian Youth Orchestra pays tribute to Piazzolla under the direction of Sarah Ioannides

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

The Andalusian Youth Orchestra pays tribute to Piazzolla under the direction of Sarah Ioannides

José Antonio Cantón, Codalario

The spring course of the Andalusian Youth Orchestra (OJA) has been dedicated to the figure of Ástor Piazzolla, whose centenary of his birth was celebrated on March 11th. For this, it has had the participation of the Peruvian bandoneonist and pianist Claudio Constantini, an outstanding interpreter of the creations of the Argintinian composer, who came to transform tango without losing its essences and particular the milongas connections between its varied ethnic and folkloric expressive assumptions, reaching to be a figure of reference in the most genuine musical genre of Argentina.

The performance began with the world premiere of the Buenos Aires Concert (Tribute to Ástor Piazzolla) by Constantini himself, with which he has shown how, from the composition, he has entered the figure of that incomparable bandoneon master, by bringing to the orchestral dimension all the secret rhythmic and harmonic of this music and capturing its structure in the classical-romantic concerto style. Lasting over thirty-five minutes, it has a first Allegro movement, the longest, in which a central cadenza stands out with which the author has wanted to show the degree of virtuosity that can be achieved with this wind instrument-bellows, standing in the middle of the dialogue with the orchestra. Its fundamental, well-defined parts, developed thematic exposition, cadence and transformed recapitulation, delved the audience into the substance of how to play it with all the weight and kinetics that the performer’s body should give it, with a degree of tension that reached its climax in extreme moments of harmonic reaffirmation, accentuated with excited, lightning-fast and explosive adornments.

The second half, which is marked by Cantabile, develops with marked slowness. The string section acquires more prominence amplifying its harmonious speech in which the soloist integrates with varied echo effects that leave the listener with a feeling of serenity and complacency. Finally, the work closes with an Animato in which the syncopated variety animated its air until, in an attempt at metric decomposition, it led to its dissolution with distinguished emotionality. In short, it is a work called to be accepted by the Buenos Aires cenacles, which will determine the adjusted intention of its content and its contribution to the genre, presuming a secure installation in the particular tango repertoire. A throbbing and at the same time contemplative interpretation of that little jewel which is the evocative instrumental song Oblivion, which put the audience in direct contact with the spirit of Piazzolla, closed this part of the evening with great shudder.

The American vibe, but in the northern hemisphere, remained when Constantini switched keyboards to develop a performance that turned out to be academic of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in blue for piano and orchestra. The sense was put by the guest conductor, Sarah Ioannides, knowing how to bring the orchestral instrument to that jazziness of the work from the difficult initial glissando of the clarinet, very achieved by the person in charge of it. The symbolism of this music took over the theater, causing the listener to imagine the famous big band halls in which the consumption of drinks was included for the spectators who occupied their tables and who at times danced on its central court.

The most outstanding performance of the night was led by a masterful conducting of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony «From the New World». Starting from a deep knowledge of this work, this impetuous conductor, with a very solid British and American pedigree, deployed a great battery of technical resources, always at the service of the musical message, making the most from the orchestra during the preparation days towards this concert and assuming its pedagogical function as an essential factor in the assembly of this symphony, without losing at any time its defined and decisive artistic personality, which resulted in a great professional moment. The movement of her baton was integrated into the kinetics of her body, transmitting every detail with a clear sense of anticipation, sure pulse and balanced dynamic and metric proportionality, which left the sensation of an excellently worked and coordinated sound gear, all favored by the delivery and commitment of this new collection of musicians of the OJA, one of the cultural institutions that has been maintained by the Junta de Andalucía and that, together with the Young Choir of Andalusia, constitutes the central nucleus of the Andalusian Program for Young Performers that fulfilled its twenty-fifth anniversary last year 2019.

Once again, the objectives of this type of meeting were fulfilled given the enthusiasm of the musicians and the public fused in an intense collective ovation. The Villamarta Theater thus scored another success in its programming dedicated to music known generically as classical. 

REVIEW: The Best Youth

REVIEW: The Best Youth

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

The Best Youth

Juan José Roldán, El Correo

Exciting reunion of the OJA with the double patronage of Claudio Constantini and Sarah Ioannides and a very American flavor

When we believed that the closing of the Maestranza would deprive us one more year of the happy meeting with the young interpreters of our land, the Junta came to the rescue after the nonsense that it itself caused and relocated the appointment at the Central Theater. The acoustics are not the same, it is a very gifted and avant-garde theater for many disciplines, but in symphonic acoustics the one on Paseo Colón has no rival; however the result was once again miraculous and surprising.

The ability of our young people to excite us and make us happier is unmatched, and again they demonstrated it in a concert that is also blessed by a beautiful and generous program that we have not enjoyed for a long time. 

I discovered Oblivion, a beautiful page full of nostalgia and sensitivity, in the final credits of The Best Youth, an Italian mini-series that premiered in theaters here and narrated with high doses of emotion the recent history of Italy through two brothers with very different paths. Since then, be it because of the memory of that little masterpiece or because of the beauty of Piazzolla’s piece itself, I always get excited when I listen to it, especially if it is interpreted with the elegance and sensitivity with which Constantini did it, magnificently clothed by the sensual string of the young orchestra.

It served to pay tribute to the great Argentine composer when he had turned one hundred years old, to which the Peruvian pianist, bandoneonist and composer added a concert of his own creation that is as attractive as it is brilliant and stimulating. Following the classic structure of three movements, one slow between the two extremes, the piece was defended with a high level of commitment by the troubled members of the orchestral ensemble, with special mention of woods and low string, providing body and musculature to a work in the one that Constantini himself acted as a soloist, exhibiting an elasticity and mastery to the bandoneon that resulted in a vibrant reading of his work, a paradigm of Buenos Aires beauty, its expansive emotionality and considerable warmth, very well articulated, very melodic, imaginative and decidedly effective. .

For this he had the invaluable complicity of the Australian director Sarah Ioannides, an Americanist expert with an excellent album with music by John Corigliano under her belt, who followed Constantini’s intervention with care and respect and wrapped him with a broad idiomatic sense in a Rhapsody in blue attacked by the young performer, now as an efficient pianist, out of respect, scrupulously following the score without additions or flourishes, so common when it is a jazz player, like him, who plays it. To highlight here the excellent work of the orchestra, as if they have been familiar with this sound all their lives between jazz, swing, Broadway and symphonic music. Ferde Grofé, Paul Whiteman and Gershwin himself would surely have freaked out with this version. Before we meet Constantini again at Espacio Turina next Friday, presenting with Louiza Hamadi his new album, 20th Century Tango, he gave us a tip on the piano, a miniature dedicated to the pianist Gil Evans, as charged with emotion as the rest of the program. 

And already in its second part, Ioannides offered a robust recreation of Dvorák’s New World Symphony, paying special attention to each instrumental family, and especially to its numerous soloists, who looked at ease, managing to convey that feeling of amplitude and amazement delivered by a score that the bohemian composer conceived as a gift of gratitude and album of sensations caused by that generous land that we dare to call new, forgetting all its history and indigenous culture. Ioannides remained contained in the majestic opening allegro, warm and transparent in a length built with revealing silences and a prodigious sense of instrumental balance, fast-paced and lively in the scherzo and as dynamic as it was expansive in the fiery final allegro, to all of which the The template was adapted with a broad sense of clarity and commendable responsibility. The party ended with a happy paso doble, Amparito Roca, no longer baton and with that exultant illusion that characterizes the best youth.

 

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra honors COVID-19 victims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra honors COVID-19 victims

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra honors COVID-19 victims

THE COLUMBIAN – The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed for an audience of zero at the Skyview Concert Hall on Jan. 17 to honor victims of COVID-19. The tribute was featured by “PBS News Hour” and streamed on its YouTube channel, which has 2.5 million subscribers. The orchestra performed Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” a song associated with mourning. The piece was performed at Albert Einstein’s funeral, as well as in honor of President John F. Kennedy. The United States most recently surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. Guest conductor at the concert was Sarah Ioannides, the music director of Symphony Tacoma. “It is as meaningful today as it ever was, with its epic journey from quiet, soft passages of reflection to searing pain,” Ioannides said of “Adagio for Strings,” according to Joshua Barajas of “PBS News Hour.” “But it ends on a note of hope and optimism reflecting today’s world.” Watch the full performance at: https://youtu.be/UCcR2Qj9OS8.

Symphony Tacoma’s “Eternal Light,” crowdsourced from area young people

Symphony Tacoma’s “Eternal Light,” crowdsourced from area young people

Sarah Ioannides-project-Saxophone Fusion

Symphony Tacoma’s “Eternal Light,” crowdsourced from area young people

Symphony Tacoma’s multimedia piece Eternal Light “isn’t just a pretty gem,” writes Rosemary Ponnekanti in last Tuesday’s (2/9) South Sound Magazine (Tacoma, WA). “It’s 10 minutes of a vision into a hopeful future from a troubled present… Eternal Light came into being from a call to Tacoma youth to submit music, dance, poetry, or art on the theme of ‘eternal light,’ inspired by the ethereal ‘Lux Eterna’ movement from Mozart’s Requiem…. Symphony director Sarah Ioannides, whose creative idea this was, and who directed the project, received a stream of work … to weave together…. Electronic composer Will Scharnberg helped sculpt teenager Kevin Kernie’s percussive octaves and rolling minor 9ths into an arc of hope, minimalist but intriguing. Orchestrator Kim Scharnberg wove in simple parts for eight symphony musicians: violin, cello, oboe, clarinet, flute, horn, percussion, harp. Singers from the Tacoma Youth Chorus added backing…. Filmmaker Fernanda Lamuño took all those green-screened home or studio recordings, some stunning paintings and drawings … and wove them into a luminous, dreamlike whole…. Side by side on the YouTube channel is a delightful behind-the-scenes video, playfully edited, showing the creative process … and some very thoughtful reflections by everyone involved.”