Apollo's Fire

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For a book, see Apollo's Fire (book).

Apollo's Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra is a popular and critically acclaimed[1] period-instrument ensemble specializing in early music (Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical) based in Cleveland, Ohio. The ensemble unites a select pool of early music specialists from throughout North America and Europe. Under the direction of Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell, the ensemble has been praised internationally for a fresh and vibrant approach to baroque performance, and for creative and innovative programming.


Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo's Fire was founded in 1992 by Jeannette Sorrell with the assistance of flutist Kathie Lynn Stewart and Roger Wright, then Artistic Administrator of the Cleveland Orchestra (now with the BBC). The orchestra received a start-up grant from the Cleveland Foundation in 1992, and made its debut to critical acclaim in June of that year. 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.

Apollo’s Fire is frequently broadcast on National Public Radio, including SymphonyCast, NPR World of Opera, and Performance Today, as well as many holiday specials. The ensemble can also be heard on Britain’s BBC, Canada’s CBC Radio 2, and the European Broadcasting Union.

Together with Jeannette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire received the 1995 Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, given for an outstanding project involving the collaboration of scholars and performers, and was awarded the 1998 Northern Ohio Live Achievement Award for Classical Music.

Apollo's Fire also has a crossover/folk wing, specializing in traditional music of the British Isles and North America, performed on period instruments in an historically informed aesthetic. The ensemble was awarded a major grant through the NEA American Masterpieces initiative in 2009, for Jeannette Sorrell's innovative crossover program, "Come to the River: An Early American Gathering."

Apollo’s Fire made its London debut in 2010 in a sold-out concert at Wigmore Hall, with a BBC broadcast. AF returned to Europe in 2011 and 2014, to Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Bordeaux’s Grand Théàtre de l’Opéra, and major venues in Lisbon, Metz (FR), London and Birmingham (UK) and Bregenz (Austria). In summer 2015, Apollo’s Fire makes its debut at the Tanglewood Festival, the BBC Proms in London, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), and the Festival Paesaggi Musicali Toscani in Tuscany. The tour program, “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse,” features Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 with Jeannette Sorrell as soloist.

Apollo’s Fire has also toured throughout North America, appearing at the Aspen Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival series, the Library of Congress, the Tropical Baroque Festival in Miami, the Ojai International Festival in California, and major venues in Boston, 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 Europe by Intermusica (London).

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 20 commercial CDs, and currently records for the British label AVIE. Four of the ensemble's CD releases have become best-sellers on the classical Billboard chart: the Monteverdi Vespers, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, and Jeannette Sorrell’s two crossover programs, "Come to the River" and "Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers."


  • Handel
Released Nov. 1996, ONDA
  • Noels and Carols from the Old World
Released Oct. 1999, ECLECTRA ECCD-2041
  • Monteverdi
Vespers of the Blessed Virgin
Released Apr. 1999, ECLECTRA ECCD-2038
  • J.S.Bach
Brandenburg Concertos
Released Sept. 2000, ECLECTRA ECCD-2047
  • Bach
St. John Passion
Released Mar. 2000, ECLECTRA ECCD-2044
  • Vivaldi and Friends
Released October. 2001, ECLECTRA ECCD-2059
  • Vivaldi Concerto in B minor for Four Violins - Allegro (457KB, 3:53)
Vivaldi Four Seasons - Summer - Presto (374KB, 3:12)
  • Bach Concerto for Four Harpsichords - Largo (244KB, 2:04)
  • Monteverdi
Released April. 2001, ECLECTRA ECCD-2052
  • Scarborough Fayre:
Traditional tunes from the British Isles & the New World
Released May 2004, KOCH KIC CD 7552
  • Mozart
Symphony No.35 in D, K.385 (Haffner),
Symphony No. 41 in C, K.551 (Jupiter) and Overture to Don Giovanni
Released May 2004, KOCH KIC CD 7574
  • Telemann
Don Quixote
Concertos and Suites
Released Summer 2005, KOCH KIC CD 7576
  • Mozart
Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466 and
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K.488
Released Spring 2005, KOCH KIC CD 7575
  • Mozart
Requiem, K.626
Exsultate, jubilate, K.165
Released 2006, KOCH KIC CD 7685
  • Praetorius
Christmas Vespers - Selections from Polyhymnia caduceatrix (1619), Musica Sionae (1621), Puericinium (1621), Terpsichore (1612)
Released 2007, KOCH KIC CD 7673
  • Mozart
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
Lucio Silla, K. 135 (Amanda Forsythe, soprano)
Ballet Music from Idomeneo, K. 367
Released 2010, AVIE CD 2159
  • Come to the River, An Early American Gathering
Released 2010 Apollo's Fire
Released 2011, AVIE CD 2205
  • Vivaldi & Friends
La Folia (Madness), Concerto grosso after Sonata Op. 1, no. 12, arr. Sorrell
Concerto in B minor for Four Violins, Op. 3, no 10, RV 580
Concerto "L'Estate (Summer)", Op. 8, no. 2, RV 315
Concerto in G minor for Two Cellos, RV 531
Concerto in A minor for Four Harpsichords by J.S. Bach, transcribed from Vivaldi, BWV 1065
Concerto in D minor for Two Violas da Gamba by Rene Duchiffre (Rene Schiffer, b. 1961)
Rereleased, AVIE CD 2211
  • Bach Brandenburg Concertos
Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F manor, BWV 1047
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051
Harpsichord Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052
Harpsichord Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056
Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052 (reconstruction)
Rereleased, AVIE CD 2207
  • Monteverdi
Vespro della beata vergine (1610) 400th Anniversary Edition
Rereleased, AVIE CD 2206
  • Handel
Amanda Forsythe, Elizabeth Shammash, Ian Honeyman, Ross Hauck, Jeffrey Strauss, soloists
Rereleased, AVIE CD 2208
  • Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers
Meredith Hall, soprano; Ensemble La Nef
Bonus DVD
Released 2012, AVIE CD 2269
  • Handel
Eternal Source of Light Divine: Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74
Zadok the Priest, HWV 258
Dixit Dominus, HWV 232
The Lord Shall Reign (from Israel in Egypt), HWV 54
Kiera Duffy and Meg Bragle, soloists
Released 2012, AVIE CD 2270
  • AF Live No. 1: Vivaldi's Seasons Rediscovered
La Primavera (Spring)
L'Estate (summer)
L'Autunno (Autumn)
L'Inverno (Winter)
Concerto in G minor for Two Cellos, RV 531
Recorded live in concert February 2008
Released 2011 by Apollo's Fire (in house)
  • AF Live No. 2: Handel
Water Music Suite in F, HWV 348
Selections from Water Music Suite in G, HWV 350
Selections from Water Music Suite in D, HWV 349
Selections from Ballet Suite Terpsichore, HWV 8b
Music from the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351
Recorded live in concert(s) 2002, 2004, 2007
Released 2012 by Apollo's Fire (in house)
  • AF Live No. 3: Mediterranean Nights
Songs and Dances from Italy and Spain
Nell Snaidas, soprano
Recorded live in concert(s) 2004 & 2005
Released 2012 by Apollo's Fire (in house
  • AF Live No. 4: Mozart: The Magic Flute (Highlights), K. 620
Recorded live in concert March 2012
Released 2012 by Apollo's Fire (in house)
  • AF Live No. 5: Virtuoso Orchestra
Vivaldi Concerto in B minor for Four Violins, Op. 3, no.10
Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060
Vivaldi Concerto in D major for Flute "Il Gardellino", RV 428
Heinichen Selections from Concerto Grosso in G manor, SeiH 213
Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G manor, BWV 1049
Recorded live in concert(s) 2012, 2013, 2014
Released 2014 by Apollo's Fire (in house)


  1. ^ Cummings, Robert. "Appollo's Fire - Music Biography, Credits, Related...". allmusic.com. Rovi Corp. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 

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