Long ago, the sparkling fiddle tunes and haunting ballads of the British Isles came across the water, taking root in the hills of Virginia. They mingled with Southern hymns and African spirituals, creating the soulful music we call Appalachian. The acclaimed ensemble Apollo’s Fire performs this hardscrabble music “with grace and power.” (Grammophone)
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).
The domestic last-stop before the tour departs for Europe!
“Haunting melodies, foot-stomping jigs and reels, stories, and a healthy dose of comedy, all with musicianship of the highest order.The audience sang, clapped, shed a few tears, and laughed, ultimately enjoying a taste of the good times that our mountain forebears must have had. The program is an ingenious conception of Apollo’s Fire director Jeannette Sorrell, the fruit of considerable research… A rich tapestry of the dark, the joyful, the sad, and the humorous, all of which the deep treasury of Appalachian music encompasses. At times songs segued seamlessly into one another to add to the sense of a journey through time. The logic of song sequence and changes of moods were beautifully placed and yielded a powerful effect… An absolutely joyous achievement.”
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.
Jeannette 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.
Cast Members Include Amanda Powell, Ross Hauck, Tina Bergmann, Susanna Gilmore, Kathie Stewart, Brian Kay and René Schiffer