AN INTERNATIONAL BAROQUE ORCHESTRA AT HOME IN NORTHEAST OHIO
But here at home, Apollo’s Fire brings world-class performances to your doorstep in a continuous “tour” of Northeast Ohio neighborhoods. We love playing for our amazing home audience – one of the largest baroque audiences in the country!
No wonder AF’s subscription programs have repeatedly been chosen by Gramophone and BBC Magazine as among the “Top 20 concerts in North America.” Founding artistic director Jeannette Sorrell is praised for her “inspired leadership” (The Independent, London) and “revelatory performances” (Opera News). Apollo’s Fire is dedicated to reviving the true spirit of baroque performances – not only with period instruments, but with the emotional impact the music was meant to convey:
See AF’s full bio below.
FROM THE PRESS
“First rate… rendered with consummate skill and artistry…”
–NEW YORK TIMES, 2017
“Electrified and sparkling.
If this concert didn’t shake your rafters, then nothing will.”
–SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE, 2017
“Revelatory and convivially theatrical… first class”
–BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, 2016
“This was as exciting as Baroque music gets….
a barnstorming conclusion to an arresting musical evening.”
–CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW, 2016
“Dramatic tautness tempered by musical finesse and elegant refinement.”
Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo’s Fire was founded by its Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell, to revive 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 a BBC broadcast. Subsequent European tours took place in 2011, 2014, and 2015. European performances include sold-out concerts at the BBC Proms in London (with live broadcast across Europe), the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Bordeaux’s Grand Théàtre de l’Opéra, and major venues in Lisbon, Metz (France), and Bregenz (Austria), as well as concerts on the Birmingham International Series (UK) and the Tuscan Landscapes Festival (Italy). AF’s London concert in 2014 was chosen by the DAILY TELEGRAPH as one of the “Best 5 Classical Concerts of The Year.”
North American tour engagements include sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall (2018), the Tanglewood Festival (2015 and 2017), the Ravinia Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY (2013, 2014, and 2015), the Boston Early Music Festival series, and the Library of Congress, as well as concerts at the Aspen Music Festival, and major venues in Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The ensemble’s notable U.S. tours include two major tours of the Monteverdi Vespers (2010 and 2014); a 9-concert tour of the Brandenburg Concertos in 2013; and a semi-staged production of Monteverdi’s L’ORFEO in April 2018 (U.S. tour). Upcoming is an UK/Ireland tour in August 2018, including the Wexford Opera House, the National Concert Hall of Ireland (Dublin), and a return to the Aldeburgh Festival.
At home in Cleveland, Apollo’s Fire frequently enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming.
Apollo’s Fire has released 26 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 SUNDAY TIMES) and “the Midwest’s best-kept musical secret is finally reaching British ears” (THE INDEPENDENT). Eight of the ensemble’s CD releases have become best-sellers on the classical Billboard chart: the Monteverdi Vespers, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos & Harpsichord Concertos, a disc of Handel arias with soprano Amanda Forsythe titled “The Power of Love” (Billboard Classical #3, 2015), and Jeannette Sorrell’s four crossover programs: Come to the River – An Early American Gathering (Billboard Classical #9, 2011); Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas Vespers (Billboard Classical #11, 2012); Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering (Billboard Classical #5, 2015); and Sephardic Journey – Wanderings of the Spanish Jews (Billboard World Music Chart #2 and Billboard Classical #5, Feb. 2016); and Songs of Orpheus (Billboard Classical #5, 2018).
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.
“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.”