Grammy-winning conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein and Roger Norrington at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival, and studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against more than 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
Founder and artistic director of Apollo’s Fire, she has led the renowned period ensemble in sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, London’s BBC Proms, Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Tanglewood, Ravinia Festival, Boston’s Early Music Festival, Library of Congress, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. She and her ensemble have built one of the largest audiences of any Baroque orchestra in North America. Ms. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 26 commercial CDs, including eight Billboard classical chart bestsellers and a 2019 Grammy winner. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concertos and harpsichord concertos of J.S. Bach as well as Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and Monteverdi Vespers, among others.
In demand with symphony orchestras and period groups alike, Ms. Sorrell has repeatedly conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, and New World Symphony, and she has led the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Opera St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), Florida Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, and Royal Northern Sinfonia (UK), among others. Upcoming debuts include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the New York Philharmonic.
Jeannette Sorrell is the subject of Playing with Fire, the 2019 documentary by Academy Award–winning director Allan Miller. She has attracted national attention and awards for her creative programming, which has brought many new listeners to early music through the use of contextual and dramatic elements. She received an honorary doctorate from Case Western University and an award from the American Musicological Society.
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