Tickets & Events

Apollo's Fire
Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Rediscovered

Tanglewood

Seiji Ozawa Hall - Lenox, MA View Map

Apollo's Fire returns to Tanglewood, this time bringing their distinctive take on Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Conductor/harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell presents these gems as the revolutionary creations of musical storytelling they were meant to be, illustrating the naturalistic effects along the way, so that Vivaldi's pictorial descriptions come fully to life.

Featured Performers

Apollo's Fire, <br />The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra<br />Jeannette Sorrell, Artistic Director<br />Olivier Brault, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Alan Choo, violin soloists (Four Seasons) <br />René Schiffer & Mimé Brinkmann, cello soloists (Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos)
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The U.S.A.'s hottest baroque band"
-- Classical Music Magazine, UK

"Led by a brilliant harpsichordist, Jeannette Sorrell, the ensemble exudes stylish energy -
a blend of scholarship and visceral intensity."-- GRAMOPHONE

Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo's Fire was founded in 1992 by the award- winning young harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell.  Sorrell envisioned an ensemble 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 made its London debut in 2010 in a sold-out concert at Wigmore Hall, with a BBC broadcast.  Subsequent European tours took place in 2011, 2014, and 2015.  European performances include 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 on the Birmingham International Series (UK) and the Tuscan Landscapes Festival (Italy).

AF's London 2014 concert was praised as "an evening of superlative music-making… the group combines European stylishness with American entrepreneurialism" (THE TELEGRAPH, UK).  This concert was chosen by the TELEGRAPH as one of the "Best 5 Classical Concerts of 2014."

North American tour engagements include the Tanglewood Festival (sold-out debut in 2015), the Aspen Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival series, the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), 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.  Apollo's Fire is signed to Columbia Artists Management (CAMI) for exclusive representation in North and South America, and is managed in the U.K. by Intermusica (London).

At home in Cleveland, Apollo's Fire enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming. Apollo's Fire has released 22 commercial CD's, and currently records for the British label AVIE. Since the ensemble's introduction into the European CD market in 2010, the 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). Seven of the ensemble's CD releases have become best-sellers on the classical Billboard chart: 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), and Jeannette Sorrell's four 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).


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, 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.  In 2017 she makes her debut with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Sorrell and Apollo's Fire have released 24 commercial CDs, of which seven 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 (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).

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.  Passionate about guiding the next generation of performers, Ms. Sorrell has led many baroque projects for students at Oberlin Conservatory.

Apollo's Fire, <br />The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra<br />Jeannette Sorrell, Artistic Director<br />Olivier Brault, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Alan Choo, violin soloists (Four Seasons) <br />René Schiffer & Mimé Brinkmann, cello soloists (Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos)
Program Notes Audio
VIVALDI - The Four Seasons
VIVALDI - Concerto in G minor for two cellos, strings, and continuo, RV 531
DALL’ABACO - Concerto in E minor “per più strumenti,” Op. 5, No. 3