Symphony Tacoma’s 76th season will present eight dynamic programs that will feature some of the most celebrated symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and other acclaimed composers. Virtuosos of piano, violin, cello, percussion and bandoneon will join the talented musicians of Symphony Tacoma to bring the music to life.
Works by living composers—including two world premieres and one U.S. premiere—will complement the classics on each concert. “We curated this season to be an exciting mix of classic favorites augmented by some truly remarkable lesser-known works to add to the theme of each concert,” says Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “It is a privilege to share some of the rich and diverse compositions by women and composers-of-color, both living and from the past, that perpetuate the tradition of classical music and keep it relevant today.”
The 5th Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass Presents: Two Final Concerts at Pacific Lutheran University
Cascade Conducting is thrilled to present two concerts at The Karen Hille Phillips Center at Pacific Lutheran University: The Cascade Conducting Choral Masterclass Final Concert on Friday, July 1st at 7pm, and The Cascade Conducting Orchestral Masterclass Final Concert on Saturday, July 2nd at 7pm.
Symphony Tacoma Music Director Sarah Ioannides will share her wisdom and experience with the 14 participants of the 5th Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass starting Monday, June 27th at Pacific Lutheran University. The class will run every day from 9-5, culminating with a final concert on Saturday, July 2nd at The Karen Hille Phillips Center. The Cascade Conducting Orchestra, led by Symphony Tacoma musicians, will perform works by Louise Farrenc, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Manuel De Falla, Robert Schumann, Joseph Bologne, and a world premiere by local composer Maria Jose Felix. The concert will be conducted by the participants of the masterclass.
For the first time, The Cascade Conducting Masterclass will also include a choral component that will be led by Symphony Tacoma Voices Music Director Geoffrey Boers. The Choral Masterclass will also be at PLU beginning Monday, June 27th, will run 3:30- 9:30, and will happen in collaboration with the Orchestral Masterclass. The final concert for the Choral Masterclass will be at The Karen Hille Phillips Center on Friday, July 1st at 7pm, and will include works by Runistad, Faure, and Mozart, performed by members of Symphony Tacoma Voices and conducted by the participants of the Choral Conducting Masterclass.
Cascade Conducting’s motto is: Excellence Through Equity.
This year Cascade Conducting has given seven full scholarships and four partial scholarships with the goal of giving talented conductors, who may not have access to traditional career pathways, the opportunity to attend a world-class conducting masterclass.
The 2022 class includes exceptional conductors from Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada, as well as throughout the United States.
These concerts will represent a week full of creation, collaboration, and growth, by an incredibly talented and diverse class of participants, that you will not want to miss!
“Cross-state Music Directing, Traveling, and Family” Interview
Sometimes, being a woman means having to handle a lot of things on your plate. For conductor Sarah Ioannides, these responsibilities prove that she can conquer so many mountains while being able to express herself in music and art. In this episode of The Conductor’s Podcast, Sarah talks about the art of being ready, the essence of leadership, and the wonders of being a mom.
Currently Music Director of Symphony Tacoma, Ioannides has led orchestras extensively in the United States including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Hawai’i Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony, where she was the first woman appointed to a full-time conducting position. Her international schedule has led her to conduct on six continents.
Born in Australia, of Greek and Scottish descent, she was raised in England, studied at Oxford University and The Juilliard School, earning Master’s degrees at both. Ioannides came to the USA as a Fulbright Scholar and graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music, a protégé of the late Otto-Werner Mueller.
Married to Scott Hartman, renowned trombonist, they have three children, including twins, Elsa and Karl, and Audrey. An avid long-distance runner, she was first overall woman in the 30k The Defiance in 2021 and recently ran her first marathon qualifying for the Boston Marathon with an average pace of 8:19/Mile.
Two years after our world plunged into a pandemic, times are still dark. Violence, sickness, suffering, death. The same could be said for late 1791, when Mozart was writing his Requiem.
Yet in deep darkness, light shines brighter — and so the pairing by Symphony Tacoma of that iconic, soul-baring Requiem with a joyful composition by Tacoma children made for a powerful season ending June 4. The evening — and the light — began with “Eternal Light,” a piece in several parts commissioned by the orchestra from Tacoma’s youth. From a virtual video stitched together during the early pandemic from submissions of instrumental melodies, voices and artwork, “Eternal Light” transformed this year into something deeper and more complex.
The youth who took part could finally come together in person to share, experience art like the immersive Van Gogh exhibit, and learn from director Sarah Ioannides, whose brainchild and production this is. The result, performed live after a screening of the 2021 video, got a standing ovation from the sold-out house.
The contrast with the Requiem couldn’t have been stronger. From the inexorable opening funeral trudge through the solid fugue of the Kyrie, the orchestra and Symphony Tacoma Voices set a tone of full, dark sound, flowing and churning like a river through the roundness of University Place Presbyterian Church.
Symphony Tacoma Voices sang magnificently. Following Ioannides’ lead, they offered clear diction and dramatic shading, with basses moving fiercely through their sixteenth notes and sopranos angelic in the stratosphere. Supported by a punchy bassoon/bass/timpani section and violins weeping in perfect unison, this was a Requiem that didn’t shy away from darkness — which made the final light, the lux aeterna, even more cathartic.
2022 Cascade Conducting Online Seminars with Sarah Ioannides begin June 13th
Cascade Conducting will be offering 12 seminar classes, one hour and fifteen minutes in length, during the three weeks leading up to the 2022 Masterclass that will be taught by Maestra Ioannides. These classes will investigate the repertoire for the 2022 Masterclass, and will be very helpful in preparing participants for the live masterclass. However, the classes are for anyone who would like to join, and are recommended for anyone looking to learn about conducting from Maestra Ioannides.
Topics will include:
Study techniques & time management, goal setting
Warmups, exercises, & physical preparation for conducting
Ear training & score reading skills – a review on recommended skills & best practices