Sarah Ioannides


Sarah Ioannides


Leading female conductor


Canberra-born Sarah Ioannides is one of the foremost modern conductors, has conducted several premieres and has collaborated with composers including Louis Andriessen, Richard Danielpour, Stephen Paulus, Steve Reich and Tan Dun.

An extremely talented musician from an early age, her own website states: “Encouraged by her violin teacher and mentor, Elizabeth Ovenden at Cranleigh School, Sarah began to fully realise her calling. As a result she buried herself in her studies both on her three primary instruments and academically. Her hard work paid off as she won a place at Oxford University.”

She won a place as a violinist in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Chamber Orchestra. She had begun private conducting studies when only 17, making the most of opportunities at Oxford where she held positions as concertmaster of the Oxford University Orchestra, Oxford Contemporary Music, and simultaneously took up positions as Music Director of the Oxford Philharmonic, Somerville/Worcester Orchestra and Choir, and later conductor of Oxford University Opera, Oxford Chamber Orchestra.

At the age of 18 Sarah conducted her first symphony program and at 20, her first opera. She was assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 2002 to 2004, music director of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2011 and then music director of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. She was named in the Los Angeles Times as “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium” while the New York Times wrote she was part of “a new wave of female conductors in their late 20’s through early 40’s”.