An International Baroque Orchestra at Home in Northeast Ohio
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.
Come and see why Apollo’s Fire has one of the three largest baroque audiences in the country!
See AF’s full bio below.
FROM THE PRESS
“First rate… rendered with consummate skill and artistry…”
–NEW YORK TIMES
“Electrified and sparkling.
If this concert didn’t shake your rafters, then nothing will.”
–SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE
“Revelatory and convivially theatrical… first class”
–BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
“This was as exciting as Baroque music gets….
a barnstorming conclusion to an arresting musical evening.”
–CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW
“Dramatic tautness tempered by musical finesse and elegant refinement.”
Named for the classical god of music, healing and the sun, Apollo’s Fire is a GRAMMY®-winning ensemble. The period-instrument orchestra was founded by award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell, and is 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 has performed five European tours, with 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 at the Irish National Concert Hall (Dublin), the Irish National Opera House (Wexford), the Birmingham International Series (UK), the Tuscan Landscapes Festival (Italy), and Belfast Castle with a live broadcast carried by the Associated Press of Europe.
AF’s London 2014 concert was chosen by the DAILY TELEGRAPH as one of the “Best 5 Classical Concerts of 2014”, with their critic writing, “An evening of superlative music-making… the group combines European stylishness with American entrepreneurialism.”
North American tour engagements include sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall (2018), the Tanglewood Festival (2015 and 2017), the Ravinia Festival (2017 and 2018), 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, Caramoor Festival, and major venues in Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The ensemble has performed two major U.S. tours of the Monteverdi Vespers (2010 and 2014) and a 9-concert tour of the Brandenburg Concertos in 2013.
At home in Cleveland, Apollo’s Fire frequently enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming.
With over 8 million views (total) of its YouTube videos, Apollo’s Fire is one of the most popular baroque orchestras on the worldwide internet. The ensemble also launched a “Worldwide Watch-at-Home Series” in October 2020, bringing its subscription concerts into the homes of patrons around the world.
Apollo’s Fire has released 27 commercial CDs and won a GRAMMY® award in 2019 for the album Songs of Orpheus with tenor Karim Sulayman. AF’s 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). Nine of the ensemble’s CD releases have become best-sellers on the classical Billboard chart: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Billboard Classical #2, 2021), 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), Songs of Orpheus (Billboard Classical #5, 2018), and Jeannette Sorrell’s five 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 Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain (Billboard #3, 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.”