SUMMER CONCERTS 2018
Summer Concert & Picnic Dinner
at the Laurel Pavilion
Jeffrey Strauss,baritone
Susanna Perry Gilmore,violin soloist
Jeannette Sorrell,harpsichord & direction
Sunday, July 29, 2018, 6:00PM
Laurel School (Butler Campus) RUSSELL TOWNSHIP

laurelConway_8
Back by popular demand – an evening of music among the trees! An ensemble of 7 musicians performs lively chamber music by J.S. Bach and his friend Telemann. Highlights include include Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor featuring Susanna Perry Gilmore, and selections from the Ouverture no. 2 in B Minor, featuring flautist Kathie Stewart. The hilarious and zany “Funeral Music for a Dead Canary” closes the program, with baritone Jeffrey Strauss relating the tragic tale of the pet canary’s demise.

Before the concert, enjoy a beer-and-wine reception and a catered picnic dinner.

6:00pm Beer & Wine Reception
6:30pm Catered Picnic Dinner
7:30pm CONCERT


  • JEFFREY STRAUSS
    JEFFREY STRAUSS
    baritone
  • SUSANNA PERRY GILMORE
    SUSANNA PERRY GILMORE
    violin
  • JEANNETTE SORRELL
    JEANNETTE SORRELL
    conductor & harpsichordist

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)

JEFFREY STRAUSS
baritone

is an “authoritative artist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) whose performances have been praised as “captivating” (Chicago Tribune) and “serenely beautiful” (New York Times). In addition to his many performances with Apollo’s Fire, he has appeared with period-instrument ensembles including The Consort of Musicke with Emma Kirkby, the Taverner Consort under Andrew Parrott, Tafelmusik, the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Seattle Baroque, Tempesta di Mare (Philadelphia), and the Newberry Consort (Chicago).
He made his concert debut at 17 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and studied voice with Elsa Charlston in Chicago, Yvonne Rodd-Marling in London, and Gérard Souzay in Paris. An accomplished stage actor, favorite projects include the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, praised as “deeply moving” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Jesus and Pilate in the J.S. Bach Passions, Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, and Apollo in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne. His 2014 portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof was hailed by the Buffalo News as “masterful.”

His longstanding commitment to contemporary music includes numerous appearances with the Contemporary Chamber Players (Contempo) in Chicago and performances of Ned Rorem’s song cycle Aftermath, Lawrence Axelrod’s The Immanence of Angels and Ophélia, Paul Schoenfield’s Camp Songs, a jazz oratorio with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and premieres of works by Bernstein, Babbitt, Shapey, and Cipullo. CD recordings with Apollo’s Fire include the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers; Handel’s Messiah; Sephardic Journey, which debuted in February 2016 at #2 on the Billboard World Music chart; and Bach’s St. John Passion, released in March 2017.

SUSANNA PERRY GILMORE
violin

enjoys a multifaceted career as solo artist, chamber musician, and orchestral concertmaster. Performing on both modern and period instruments and versatile in diverse styles from classical to fiddling, she is hailed as a player who is both “thrilling and sensitive” by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, “luminous and hypnotic” by the Omaha World-Herald, and “authentic with exquisite good taste” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Shehas frequently been heard in chamber ensembles on National Public Radio shows such as Performance Today, A Prairie Home Companion, and America’s Music Festivals.

After beginning her career as a chamber player, at the age of twenty-six Ms. Gilmore became concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. There, as in Omaha, she frequently appeared as a soloist performing works such as Mozart’s Violin Concerto in A Major, Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto, Ravel’s Tzigane, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In July 2014 she performed the European premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms for solo violin, choir and orchestra in Paris, France. In May 2016 she was guest concertmaster and soloist with the Naples Philharmonic, Florida, for a baroque concert and was soloist and leader of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti for the inaugural concert of the Tippet Rise Music Festival, Montana, in June 2016.

Ms. Gilmore has been a frequent guest violinist/fiddler with the acclaimed period music ensemble Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), with whom she appears on the CD Sugarloaf Mountain: An Appalachian Gathering(Billboard Top 10 classical bestseller) and the CD Sephardic Journey: Wanderings of the Spanish Jews (Billboard Top 10 classical bestseller) which features the early 17th-century composer Salamone Rossi. In the spring of 2017 she will perform Sugarloaf Mountain around the U.S. culminating in a performance at the National Gallery in D.C. in April.

Ms. Gilmore holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oxford University (UK), where she studied musicology and performed both early music and symphonic repertoire while studying privately with Yfrah Neaman. She spent a post-graduate year in the Advanced Solo Studies Program at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Upon returning to the United States, she earned a Master’s in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory, where she studied with James Buswell. Prior to her studies in England, Ms. Gilmore studied with Christian Teal at the Blair School of Music in the pre-college program and as a child began her violin studies with Mimi Zweig at Indiana University. On baroque violin Ms. Gilmore has studied with Robert Mealy, Cynthia Roberts, and Marilyn McDonald at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.

Ms. Gilmore learned to play Celtic fiddle in her youth through sitting in on Irish sessions during her years in Nashville and England. In March 2016 she made her Celtic fiddle debut in Omaha on the Celtic Journey pops concerts, which she helped produce.

When not working as a classical and baroque violinist and fiddler, Ms. Gilmore spends time with her two daughters, Katy and Zoe. She performs on a 1776 Joseph Odoardi violin.

JEANNETTE SORRELL
conductor & harpsichordist

“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 a leading creative voice among early-music conductors. She has been credited by the U.K.’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. Her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2013 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). She has also appeared as conductor or conductor/soloist with the New World Symphony (Miami), the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), the Omaha Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, 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. In 2015 she returned to the Pittsburgh Symphony as conductor/soloist.

Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 24 commercial CDs, of which six have been bestsellers on the BILLBOARD classical chart. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti and harpsichord concerti of Bach (with Sorrell as harpsichord soloist and director), which was praised by the LONDON TIMES as “a swaggering version… brilliantly played by Sorrell.” She has also released four discs of Mozart and was hailed as “a near-perfect Mozartian” by FANFARE RECORD MAGAZINE. Other recordings include Handel’s Messiah, the Monteverdi Vespers and four creative crossover projects: Come to the River – An Early American Gathering; Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas Vespers; Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering, and most recently, Sephardic Journey – Wanderings of the Spanish Jews.

Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming. She holds an 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. Passionate about guiding the next generation of performers, Ms. Sorrell has led many baroque projects for students at Oberlin Conservatory.

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