O Jerusalem! Crossroads of Three Faiths

GRAMMY® Winners Apollo’s Fire & Jeannette Sorrell present
O Jerusalem! Crossroads of Three Faiths

Jeannette Sorrell, program design & direction
Amanda Powell, Jeffrey Strauss, & Sorab Wadia, vocal soloists
with Daphna Mor, winds
Zafer Tawil, oud & qanoon
Jacob Perry, tenor

“… The place where everything is music… and brothers and strangers are one.”
Jalal al-Din Rumi, 13th-c. Persian poet

Repertoire & Program Notes

Saturday, March 7, 2020 – New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art (MetLive Arts)
Tickets & Info
Thursday, March 12, 2020 – Chicago (Evanston), IL
Northwestern University
Galvin Recital Hall, Bienen School of Music
For more information call Apollo’s Fire at 800.314.2535 or 216.320.0012

The 2020 Apollo’s Fire tour of O Jerusalem! is made possible with the generous support of:
Northern Trust

Apollo’s Fire’s “Sephardic Journey” program won rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Now Jeannette Sorrell presents a timely sequel – an exploration of the three peoples whose music and faith brought such vibrancy to the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

In this “tour” of the four quarters of Old Jerusalem (Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian/Byzantine), surprising cross-influences emerge. A Sabbath prayer leads to a Sephardic ballad of a lover betrayed. Selections from Monteverdi’s great Vespers of 1610 echo the exotic and rapturous singing of the Jewish cantors in the temples. The classical Arabic love song Lamma bada leads poignantly into the wild and joyous Longa Farahfaza – a virtuoso instrumental romp. The rhythms of daily life – love, singing, dancing and prayer – culminate in a joyous celebration of brotherhood and sisterhood. Projected images designed by Camilla Tassi (selected venues only).

At a time of ever-increasing tensions in the Middle East, 25 unique artists from Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds come together. The sounds of oud, theorbo, medieval harp, vielle, qanoon, strings, wooden flutes, and exotic percussion join with human voices in a celebration of shared humanity.

REVIEWS from the Cleveland Premiere, 2018

On period instruments, a voyage of faith for the 21st century… Apollo’s Fire continues to challenge and enchant. The result borders upon a theatrical experience…. In classic Apollo’s Fire manner, the entire evening was delivered with urgency, polish, and flair. To hear an ensemble at the peak of their powers, making vital statements about the world, is a privilege.”
– Seen & Heard International [Read the rest]

Captivating… a ravishing musical landscape. A high level of artistry and passionate music-making… gorgeous and stylish. The concert flowed wonderfully from one musical universe to another… creating a communal atmosphere of celebration and worship. Sorrell should be proud of this enjoyable and unity-striving evening in a time when human divisions are regularly stoked to achieve dangerous ends.”
– ClevelandClassical.com [Read the rest]

Listen to tracks from the CD!
Debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Music Chart and #7 on the Billboard Classical Chart
(February 2016)

“Best 10 Albums of the Year”


Representative Videos





Related: International Reviews of the “Sephardic Journey” CD Album

“Revelatory… convivially theatrical… The soloists and instrumentalists are first-class, and Sorrell’s arrangements are full of zip and color.”
–BBC Music Magazine [full review]

“Recommendable right off the bat… Sorrell combines music of several centuries in a convincing thematic way that has rarely been matched, whether dealing with Jewish music or some other tradition. This is something of a heartland American counterpart to the thematic albums of Jordi Savall, and it works remarkably well.”
–AllMusic.com [full review]

“Another impressive disc from Apollo’s Fire… energy, colour, atmosphere and, indeed, fire. Impressively wrought, full of wonderful Middle Eastern inflections… beautifully shaped and full of life… Vividly recorded, with excellent booklet notes by Jeannette Sorrell.”
–The Classical Reviewer (UK) [full review]


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