Since 2002, Jeannette Sorrell and her principal players have helped to train future Apollo’s Fire musicians by working with advanced conservatory students, sharing Apollo’s Fire’s particular style and approach to baroque music.
The program developed out of Jeannette Sorrell’s desire to bridge the gap for talented students on the verge of professional careers. Having worked extensively with students in Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Orchestra, Sorrell observed that the most advanced baroque students reach a kind of plateau in their development.
“When I started leading the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra several years ago,” Sorrell said, “I realized that these students needed an experience that no conservatory can provide - the experience of being the only student in a string section where the other players all share a unified approach to style and intonation. Without this even the most talented students have to make an enormous leap to win a spot in a professional baroque orchestra – without really knowing what the guideposts are.”
Sorrell and her colleagues take turns coaching advanced students from the major conservatories – primarily Oberlin and the Cleveland Institute of Music. From there outstanding students are invited to audition for an apprentice position in the ensemble. Apprentices perform alongside the more seasoned musicians of AF, participating in touring, recording, and subscription concerts, as well as all aspects of the Education & Outreach Program. Apprentices are eligible to become full-fledged members of AF after two years of successful participation in the program.
The program has guided many talented young musicians into professional careers. Former apprentices include violinists Johanna Novom, Evan Few and Carrie Krause, cellist Rachel Henderson, and violist Karina Schmitz – all now professional period specialists. Not only does the program serve to shape the next generation of early music performers, but it also helps ensure that Apollo’s Fire maintains its highest standards of performance even when veteran players eventually become unavailable for free-lance work.
For further information on the Young Artist Apprentice Program, contact Nishana Gunaratne, Artistic Planning Coordinator, at 216.320.0012, ext. 5 or firstname.lastname@example.org.