Grammy Award–winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She is the subject of Playing with Fire: Jeannette Sorrell and the Mysteries of Conducting, the 2019 documentary by Oscar-winning director Allan Miller.
Bridging the period-instrument and symphonic worlds from a young age, Sorrell studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein, Roger Norrington, and Robert Spano at the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals and studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won First Prize in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, where she competed against more than 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
Sorrell made her New York Philharmonic debut in 2021 and Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2022. She has repeatedly conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Florida, and New World Symphony orchestras and has also led the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion), National Symphony Orchestra (at the Kennedy Center), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opera St. Louis (with the St. Louis Symphony), Calgary Philharmonic (in Canada), Grand Rapids Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, among others. This spring she makes her debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Spain).
As founder and conductor of Apollo’s Fire, she has led the renowned ensemble at London’s BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Irish National Concert Hall, Library of Congress, and many international venues. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 30 commercial CDs, including 11 bestsellers on the Billboard classical chart and a 2019 Grammy winner. Her CD recordings of Bach’s St. John Passion and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons have been chosen as best in the field by the London Sunday Times (2020 and 2021). Her Monteverdi Vespers recording was chosen by BBC Music Magazine as one of 30 “Must-Have Recordings for Our Lifetime” (September 2022). Other albums include Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos (Billboard Classical Top 10 in 2012), four discs of works by Mozart, and five creative multicultural programs. With more than 12 million views of her YouTube videos, Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming.