Last summer’s “Mediterranean Roots” program raised the rafters, and now it returns in a fresh, new version. Soulful singers Amanda Powell and Brian Kay celebrate the common ties of Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Arabic cultures, along with a colorful ensemble of plucked instruments, recorder, strings, hammered dulcimer, and exotic percussion. The Lautenwerck – a beautiful lute-like keyboard instrument – makes its debut on the AF stage at the hands of Jeannette Sorrell.
Tarantella at Mergellina, c.1750 (oil on canvas), Falciatore, Filippo (1718-68) / Detroit Institute of Arts, USA / Founders Society Purchase, Acquisitions Fund / Bridgeman Images
“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)
has been praised as “the star of the evening” (Seen and Heard International, UK) and “charismatic and theatrically arresting” (San Francisco Chronicle). A highly versatile musician, she is at home in repertoire from Monteverdi to Mozart to Ravel, and has toured internationally as soloist in baroque opera, oratorio, and crossover folk programs. Her tour performances with GRAMMY®-winning baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire (Jeannette Sorrell) include such venues as the National Concert Hall of Ireland in Dublin, the Irish National Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, and Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, among others. Her 2019 debut as Messiah soloist with the Calgary Symphony won kudos as “the soloist of the night… singing to perfection.”
As a recording artist, Ms Powell has been featured on several Apollo’s Fire albums including Sugarloaf Mountain, Sephardic Journey, and Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, all of which received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and debuted in the top ten on the BILLBOARD Classical Chart. Her 2015 solo debut album, Beyond Boundaries, is an intimate program of folk, jazz, and global music. She is a fluent improvisor and has collaborated with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Sheila Jordan.
is a modern-day troubadour. He holds a Master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied lute and theorbo. He specializes in historical plucked instruments and ancient songs of various world traditions. He is a songwriter and poet, and also paints and plays a variety of percussion and wind instruments. Cleveland Classical.com called him “far-ranging,” “brilliant,” and “exciting,” and Early Music America called his work “phenomenal.” His newest album, Three Ravens, was released in January 2015.
lautenwerck & co-director
Award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell 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.” Sorrell made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2013 as conductor and soloist in the complete Brandenburg Concertos. With standing ovations every night, the event was hailed as “an especially joyous occasion” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). Other guest conducting engagements include the Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the New World Symphony (Miami), Utah Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and the Houston Early Music Festival where she filled in for British conductor Richard Egarr on five days’ notice, leading the complete Brandenburg Concertos and playing the harpsichord solo in Brandenburg No. 5.
Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire record for the British label AVIE RECORDS, and have released 26 commercial CDs, of which seven have been Top 10 bestsellers on the Billboard Classical chart. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti and harpsichord concerti (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 Magazine. Billboard bestsellers include the Brandenburgs, the Monteverdi Vespers, and Sorrell’s 4 crossover/folk programs: Come to the River – An Early American Gathering; Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas Vespers; Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering; and Sephardic Journey – Wanderings of the Spanish Jews.
Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious “American Masterpieces” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the research and production of early American music. Her awards include an honorary doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, the Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society of Early Music and the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, given for her work in reconstructing early American repertoire. As a teenager, Ms. Sorrell lived in the rural Shenandoah Valley, where she grew to love Appalachian music and Southern harmony.