Apollo’s Fire

Apollo's Fire on Balcony

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.”
CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE

“Led by a brilliant harpsichordist, Jeannette Sorrell, the ensemble exudes stylish energy –
a blend of scholarship and visceral intensity.”  

GRAMOPHONE

Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo’s Fire was founded in 1992 by the award- winning young harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell.  Sorrell envisioned an ensemble dedicated to the baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts or passions in the listeners. Apollo’s Fire is a collection of creative artists who share Sorrell’s passion for drama and rhetoric.

Hailed as “one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles” (The Independent, London), Apollo’s Fire made its London debut in 2010 in a sold-out concert at Wigmore Hall, with BBC broadcast.  Apollo’s Fire returned to Europe in fall 2011, as part of a major international tour with French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky.  The ensemble was met with standing ovations in Madrid (Royal Theatre), Bordeaux (Grand Théàtre de l’Opéra), Lisbon, Metz, Boston, Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Apollo’s Fire has also toured throughout North America, appearing at the Aspen Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival series, the Library of Congress, the Tropical Baroque Festival in Miami, and the Ojai International Festival in California. In October 2010 the ensemble performed the Monteverdi Vespers in an 11-concert national tour. At home in Cleveland, Apollo’s Fire enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming.

Apollo’s Fire has released 20 commercial CDs, and currently records for the British label AVIE. Since the ensemble’s introduction into the European CD market in 2010, the recordings have won rave reviews in the London press: “a swaggering version, brilliantly played” (THE TIMES) and “the Midwest’s best-kept musical secret is finally reaching British ears” (THE INDEPENDENT). Four of the ensemble’s CD releases have become best-sellers on the classical Billboard chart: the Monteverdi Vespers, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and Jeannette Sorrell’s two crossover programs, “Come to the River” and “Sacrum Mysterium:  A Celtic Christmas Vespers.”

Artistic Philosophy

Music is a form of communication – a language that resonates with people in an emotional and spiritual way, touching people in a way that words cannot. The treatises from the 17th and 18th centuries all talk about “Affekt” – the emotional character of the music. The performer’s role was to evoke a particular Affekt or emotional state in the listeners – whether that be joy or contemplation or rage or despair or triumph. The baroque performer used every possible means to cast his emotional spell on the audience – rhetoric, gesture, harmony. Apollo’s Fire is a collection of artists who believe passionately that our job is to communicate – to take the listeners with us on an emotional journey. If, at the end of two hours, the audience is moved to tears, or joy, or laughter, or prayer, then we have done a good night’s work.