Reflections by Sarah

Below are some of my writings on various different topics from music, to stories about my life, and some parallels between music and the world at large.

1. A Note from Sarah – My philosophy..

Inspired by nature, the animal world, and the power of human creativity, I seek to find unique opportunities to present to audiences, works like Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew, Holst’s The Planets, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music, Daniel Ott and Derek Klein’s Fire-Mountain. These fresh presentations of orchestral music with inspiring imagery, when presented alongside classical works such as Beethoven’s 9th “Ode to Joy”, Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade create the opportunity for all to be inspired and perhaps challenged to see the Symphony across a broader horizon.

My international experience as a conductor and teacher has deepened my understanding of diverse cultures. Music as a common language can be the catalyst for an ever better, more equitable world. We can create that very experience with an expanding repertoire of vibrant symphonic performances that welcome people from all walks of life.

With a commitment to innovation in the arts, it has been my great joy to perform with great musicians over five hundred compositions and to bring to life over forty world premieres for orchestras and choirs. Engaging in dialogue within our community and beyond, developing grassroots projects and intentionally creating programs with a curator’s eye empowers the voices of today alongside the epic history of orchestral music.

I was once asked what I might have done with my life had I not become a conductor. Had I followed a different path, I may have become a neuroscientist, studying the effects of classical music on brain development; how we are changed as performers, students, listeners, and ultimately as members of a culturally rich and civil society. I believe we would show the unparalleled value of music to humanity; an essential component of education, as important as Math, English, and the Sciences.

My vision as a conductor is to share the gift of both classical and contemporary orchestral music and in doing so to entertain, and inspire you to embrace your creative spirit.

2. Why Music?

Music in America is so rich because of the cross-pollination of people coming from different places. It’s fascinating how east and west, north and south have become fused together in a musical way. This has inspired a number of my projects that spotlight music from different angles, helping us empathize with different cultures and understand each other through the universal language of music.

I have always been curious about how music came together and what parts made it synchronize. Then when you bring in the individual to recreate that, what an extraordinary process that is. The communication between artist, between musicians, between conductor, and players from different perspectives, and of course the receiving end of that, the audience’s perspective. It’s amazing how powerful and effective a tool music is – it can bring people together and help them reconcile differences. One of the finest examples of this is the the Singing Revolution that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Music is truly an aid to peace in our complex troubled world.

3. The Transformational Power of Music, Article by Sarah Ioannides

“Conducting is truly an art” I told one of my students at the recent conducting masterclass I led where I taught the art of conducting through the long hours of the day into the evening.

For us, it is the inspiration of music, its ability to empower and be an expression of our world that gives us the belief and hope  –  and that it is essential for our planet to have the inspirational gifts of live orchestral performance, that inspire community, brings compassion, sharing, love of life and brings people together through music.”

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