Beethoven’s epic sense of struggle emerges with fresh intensity as Jeannette Sorrell leads his revolutionary Egmont Overture and Fifth Symphony. Internationally renowned violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley (the young American concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic) makes his period-instrument debut, bringing lyrical transcendence to Beethoven’s beloved Violin Concerto. Read about Noah
“An artist of great intellectual capacity”–THE STRAD
*THURSDAY & SUNDAY: Celebrate AF’s 25th anniversary with a champagne toast and light dessert. Suggested donation $5-10. (Scroll down for concert dates.)
PRE-CONCERT TALK: “Beethoven’s Vienna: When the Fifth was New” by visiting scholar Thomas Forrest Kelly of Harvard University. FREE! Read about Professor Kelly
Noah Bendix-Balgley has thrilled and moved audiences around the world with his performances. In 2014, he was appointed 1st Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Noah was a Laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and he won 3rd prize and a special prize for creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris. Noah won the 1st prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded 1st Prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the “Andrea Postacchini” Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy. Noah has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, Orchestre Royal Chambre de Wallonie (Belgium), and the Erie Philharmonic among others. Highlights of this season include recitals in Germany, New York City and Pittsburgh, and concertos with the North Carolina Symphony and Fresno Philharmonic. In June 2016, he will premiere his own Klezmer Violin Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
From 2011 until 2015, Noah Bendix-Balgley was Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Noah’s performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, featuring his own original cadenzas, was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Noah also performed his own version of The Star-Spangled Banner for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park.
Noah Bendix-Balgley is a passionate and experienced chamber musician. He has performed on North American tour with the Miro String Quartet. From 2008 to 2011, he was the 1st violinist of the Munich-based Athlos String Quartet, which won a special prize at the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition in Berlin, and performed throughout Europe. He has performed with artists including Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Gary Hoffman, Emanuel Ax, Lars Vogt, and percussionist Colin Currie. Noah has appeared at numerous festivals in Europe and North America, including the Verbier Festival, the Sarasota Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, the Nevada Chamber Music Festival and Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, Germany.
Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Noah began playing violin at age 4. At age 9, he played for Lord Yehudi Menuhin in Switzerland. Noah graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule. His principal teachers were Mauricio Fuks, Christoph Poppen, and Ana Chumachenco. In his spare time, he enjoys playing klezmer music. He has played with world-renowned klezmer groups such as Brave Old World, and has taught klezmer violin at workshops in Europe and in the United States. He performs on a Cremonese violin made in 1732 by Carlo Bergonzi.
“Under the inspired leadership of Jeannette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire has become one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles, causing one to hear baroque material anew.”
–THE INDEPENDENT, London
Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most creative early-music conductors. She has been credited by the UK’s BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE for forging “a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music… a seductive vision of musical authenticity.”
Hailed as “one of the world’s finest Baroque specialists” (ST. LOUIS DISPATCH), Sorrell was one of the youngest students ever accepted to the prestigious conducting courses of the Aspen and the Tanglewood music festivals. She studied conducting under Robert Spano, Roger Norrington and Leonard Bernstein, and harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 1991 Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the U.S., and the Soviet Union.
Sorrell founded Apollo’s Fire in 1992. Since then, she and the ensemble have built one of the largest audiences of any baroque orchestra in North America. She has led AF in sold-out concerts at London’s BBC Proms and London’s Wigmore Hall, Madrid’s Royal Theatre (Teatro Real), the Grand Théâtre de l’Opéra in Bordeaux, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Tanglewood Festival, Boston’s Early Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Library of Congress, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), among others.
As a guest conductor, Sorrell has worked with many of the leading American symphony orchestras and is represented by Columbia Artists Management (CAMI). In December she will make her Kennedy Center debut conducting the National Symphony in performances of Handel’s Messiah. Her 2013 debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as conductor and soloist in the complete Brandenburg Concertos was met with standing ovations every night, and hailed as “an especially joyous occasion” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW). The same occurred with her recent debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where the TWIN CITIES PIONEER PRESS wrote, “Other masters of the [baroque] style have been paying visits, but none has summoned up as much energy, enthusiasm and excitement from the orchestra as Sorrell.” She has also appeared as conductor or conductor/soloist with the New World Symphony (Miami), the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), and has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra as guest keyboard artist. In 2014 Ms. Sorrell filled in for British conductor Richard Egarr on 5 days’ notice, leading the complete Brandenburg Concertos and playing the harpsichord solo in Brandenburg no. 5, for the closing concert of the Houston Early Music Festival. This summer she returns to Utah Symphony and makes her debut with Grand Teton Festival.
Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming. She holds an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, and honorary doctorate from Case Western University, two special awards from the National Endowment for the Arts for her work on early American music, and an award from the American Musicological Society, and two different awards from the Cleveland Arts Prize. Passionate about guiding the next generation of performers, Ms. Sorrell has led many baroque projects for students at Oberlin Conservatory and is a frequent guest coach at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is the architect of AF’s highly successful Young Artist Apprentice Program, which has produced the majority of the leading young baroque professionals in the country today.