Sarah Ioannides, Music Director of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra (Texas) and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (South Carolina), will conduct the Converse Symphony Orchestra during its season ending performance Monday, May 5 at 8 pm in Twichell Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.
Ioannides will conduct the orchestra through performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K. 297b, Ma mère l’oye (“Mother Goose”) by Maurice Ravel and Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34 by Rimsky-Korsakov.
According to orchestra member Katie Garber, a Converse senior from Madison, Virginia, having Ioannides serve as guest conductor and artist-in-residence is the result of an initiative led by student orchestra members. “Maestra Sarah Ioannides is a master artist. She has demonstrated that time and again by drawing on each ensemble’s strengths and challenging each individual to greater musical excellence,” said Garber. “The ladies of the Converse Symphony Orchestra expressed an interest in working with Maestra Ioannides for those reasons, and, more generally, to have the experience of working with another conductor.” Dr. Siegwart Reichwald, Associate Professor of Music History in Converse’s Petrie School of Music, is the primary conductor of the orchestra.
Described by the New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority,” Ioannides has established a reputation as a gifted conductor in multiple genres including multimedia productions. Possessing an extensive repertoire with numerous premieres, Ioannides has collaborated with several celebrated composers including Louis Andriessen, Richard Danielpour, Stephen Paulus, Luis Tinoco and Tan Dun.Prior to her current appointments, Ioannides served as assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2002-2004. Characterized by the Cincinnati Post as “elegant to watch, active and keenly expressive,” Ioannides was awarded the Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor Chair during her tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, one of two awards presented by the Bruno Walter Foundation in the United States during the 2003-2004 season.
From 1999 to 2003, Ioannides served as assistant conductor to composer Tan Dun touring Japan, China, Hong Kong, Russia, France, Germany, Sweden, the USA and the UK. As such, she conducted the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, and the Oregon Bach Festival. Ioannides was choir director for the RIAS Kammerchor and production coordinator for the world premiere of Water Passion after St. Matthew in 2000. She also served as production coordinator and assistant conductor to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta for the Tan Dun Fire Crossing Water Festival at the Barbican Center. In February, 2005 at the request of Tan Dun, Ioannides conducted Water Passion after St. Matthew in Perth, Australia, as the first conductor to perform this work other than the composer.Born in Canberra, Australia to a Scottish mother and Cypriot father, Ioannides grew up in England. She studied violin, piano and French horn, earning a Masters of Arts in Music at Oxford University. Formerly a member of the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Chamber Orchestra, she played professionally as a violinist. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1996, Ioannides entered the Curtis Institute of Music as a conductor, where she was awarded the Presser Foundation Scholarship