Apollo’s Fire celebrates 30th anniversary with new Windy City Series opening this Octob er 2021 with performances at DePaul University in Lincoln Park and Music Institute of Chic ago in Evanston

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Apollo’s Fire celebrates 30th anniversary
with new Windy City Series
opening this October 2021 with performances
at DePaul University in Lincoln Park
and Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston

Multi-media all-Vivaldi concerts to feature guest soloist,
violinist Francisco Fullana

Apollo’s Fire and artistic director Jeannette Sorrell; Photo: Mark Nelson)

Celebrating its 30th anniversary season, Apollo’s Fire, the internationally acclaimed, GRAMMY®-winning period-instrument orchestra led by renowned conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell, officially adopts Chicago as its second home with the launch of its Windy City Series: A Journey of Discovery in late October 2021. With a year-long theme of "A Journey of Discovery," the series offers concerts in Chicago and Evanston, and will include a post-concert CD release party for the ensemble’s latest album, “Vivaldi The Four Seasons,” with acclaimed violinist Francisco Fullana. (The CD is officially released October 22.)

The series includes five concerts:

  • 2 performances of the "Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – rediscovered" in October;
  • one performance of "Virtuoso Bach and Vivaldi" in January 2022 (with Fullana re-joining the orchestra for Bach’s Violin Concerto in D Minor);
  • 2 performances of "Mozart and the Chevalier" in May 2022 – a program

featuring works by Mozart and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint –
Georges, with Chicago violinist Rachel Barton Pine and soprano Sonya
Headlam in their Apollo’s Fire debuts (see below for further details).

In conjunction with its performance series, Apollo’s Fire makes a substantial commitment to education initiatives in Greater Chicago. At the invitation of the superintendent of Matteson school district #162, Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell will lead Apollo’s Fire and high school students of Southland College Prep High School in a festive "side-by-side" concert on Tuesday, October 26, at the high school. The collaborative concert kicks off a new Beginning Strings program led by Apollo’s Fire in the predominantly African American school district. Designed by Sorrell, the Beginning Strings program is inspired by the El Sistema model and also by the model of Vivaldi’s orchestra of orphan youth in 18th-century Venice. Further details on the program will be released in late October. Apollo’s Fire also plans to work with students at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston.

“It’s an honor to become part of a community with such strong roots in the arts,” stated Ms. Sorrel. “Having performed 5 times in Greater Chicago in the last 5 years – at Ravinia, the University of Chicago and Northwestern – we are thrilled now to commit to Chicago as our second home. Through this series, we look forward to bringing new audiences to early music and classical music in general, as we break down the barriers that make people shy away from classical music. This is what we have done in Cleveland – we’ve built in Northeast Ohio one of the nation’s 3 largest audiences for baroque music. We also have 8 million views on YouTube. Chicago has several vibrant baroque groups, and we plan to promote their concerts to the new patrons we bring in. At every concert, I’ll be up there on stage giving away tickets to an upcoming concert of another Chicago baroque ensemble and encouraging people to sample their offerings."

Apollo’s Fire
2021-22 Windy City Series: A Journey of Discovery

Vivaldi’s FOUR SEASONS rediscovered

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 7:30 PM
Holtschneider Performance Center, DePaul University, Lincoln Park

Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 7:30 PM
Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston

Jeannette Sorrell, direction & harpsichord
Francisco Fullana, violin soloist – Four Seasons
with projected images designed by Camilla Tassi
Program also includes:
VIVALDI Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos
VIVALDI/arr. Sorrell "La Folia" (Madness)
CD Release Party following concert (full details on the recording here.)

Not your mother’s Four Seasons…. Jeannette Sorrell and
Francisco Fullana become musical storytellers – celebrating along
with the 18th-century Italian peasants, whose joys and sorrows
Vivaldi described so vividly. Dueling cellists evoke Vivaldi’s
rock-n’-roll personality in the stormy Concerto for Two Cellos. The party
ends in exuberant madness when the group whips up
Vivaldi’s La Folia (“Madness”).

PROOF OF VACCINATION or a negative COVID test result is required at all concerts this fall. Facial masks are also required. Please see the ensemble’s Health & Safety policy: https://apollosfire.org/purchase-tickets/

"ATTEND IN PERSON OR AT HOME" Ticket-buyers can either choose to attend in person or receive a password to watch the exclusive concert-video, released 12 days after the performance. The concert-video can be watched anytime for 30 days.

Tickets & Subscriptions
Single tickets are currently on sale by phone and online. Patrons can save 20% and guarantee the best seats with a 3-concert Windy City Series subscription. Call 800.314.2535 or visit https://apollosfire.org/purchase-tickets/

Chicagoans can also purchase tickets for Apollo’s Fire acclaimed "Watch-at-Home” series for 3 additional concerts being performed in Cleveland.

NO-RISK SUBSCRIPTION POLICY: Subscribers may choose from 4 options if they are unable to attend due to COVID. Details athttps://apollosfire.org/2021-2022-online-subscription-form/

NEW CD RELEASE on British label AVIE

Apollo’s Fire’s latest CD will be released on AVIE October 22, 2021.
Click here for more details.

The Windy City Series Continues…


Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 8:00 PM
Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston

Jeannette Sorrell, direction & harpsichord
Francisco Fullana, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Alan Choo, Emi Tanabe, violin soloists; Rene Schiffer & Ezra Seltzer, cello soloists

Sparks fly as dueling soloists square off in double-concertos. In Vivaldi’s fiery Concerto for Two Cellos, hear why Sorrell thinks of Vivaldi as the “rock-n-roll composer of the 18th century.” The program includes Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concerto no. 3, Bach’s darkly brooding Violin Concerto in D Minor featuring Francisco Fullana, Vivaldi’s dramatic Concerto in A Minor for Two Violins, and selections from Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 3 in D.

MOZART and the Chevalier

Friday, May 13, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Holtschneider Performance Center, DePaul University, Lincoln Park

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 8:00 PM
Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston

MOZART Don Giovanni Overture
BOLOGNE Aria from L’Amant anonyme
MOZART Selections from Exsultate, Jubilate
BOLOGNE Violin Concerto
MOZART Symphony no. 35, “Haffner”

Jeannette Sorrell, conducting
Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Sonya Headlam, soprano

Two geniuses: one was called “Mozart,” the other was called “Le Mozart Noir” (The Black Mozart). Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint- Georges, was as renowned in the 18th century as his Viennese colleague. The son of an African slave and her white master, he became a beloved violin soloist, composer, champion fencing master, and hero of the French Revolution. Hear the two composers side-by-side in this thought-provoking evening of glorious music.

Apollo’s Fire – The 30th Anniversary Season
This busy season for "the USA’s hottest baroque band" (Classical Music Magazine, UK) includes 28 concerts in Northeast Ohio; the new 5-concert Windy City Series in Greater Chicago; and tour engagements including a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic as Jeannette Sorrell makes her conducting debut with that orchestra, joined by AF’s renowned chamber choir Apollo’s Singers for 4 performances of Handel’s Messiah, December 14-18, 2021 in New York City.

Apollo’s Fire’s tour schedule also includes return engagements at New York’s Carnegie Hall (March 24, 2022); the Green Music Center in Sonoma, CA (October 30, 2021); Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC (January 27, 2022); the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Vail/Beaver Creek, CO (January 31, 2022); and Worcester Music, Tuckerman Hall, in Massachusetts (March 26, 2022).

Apollo’s Fire’s successful Worldwide Watch-at-Home series for national and international audiences continues with five concerts to be released in the 2021-22 season in addition to the current seven concerts available.

ABOUT JEANNETTE SORRELL, conductor & harpsichordist
“Sorrell is an absolute dynamo onstage…. a force to be reckoned with. She brought the energy and creativity that… have granted her celebrity status within the early music world.”

GRAMMY®-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque

and Classical repertoire. She is credited by BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE for “forging a vibrant, life-affirming approach to early music.” The daughter of a European immigrant father and American mother, she grew up as a musician and dancer. She is the subject of the 2019 documentary PLAYING WITH FIRE: Jeannette Sorrell and the Mysteries of Conducting by Academy award-winning director Allan Miller. http://playingwithfirethefilm.com

The founder and artistic director of APOLLO’S FIRE, Sorrell has led the renowned period ensemble as conductor and harpsichord soloist in sold-out concerts from Carnegie Hall and London’s BBC Proms to the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals. In Cleveland, Ohio, she and Apollo’s Fire have built one of the largest audiences of any baroque orchestra in North America.

In demand with symphony orchestras and period groups alike, Sorrell makes debuts this season with the New York Philharmonic (Handel’s Messiah) and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Bach’s St. John Passion). She has also led such orchestras as the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the St Pauli Chamber Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Utah Symphony, among others.

The architect of Apollo’s Fire’s Young Artist Apprentice program, which has produced many of the nation’s leading young professional baroque players; and the new Artistic Leadership Fellows program, she has released 26 commercial CDS with Apollo’s Fire, including the GRAMMY® winning “Songs of Orpheus” featuring tenor Karim Sulayman, and 8 Billboard Classical bestsellers. Her YouTube videos with Apollo’s Fire have received over 8 million views.

Sorrell studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein, Robert Spano, and Roger Norrington at the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals. As a harpsichordist, she studied with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam and won First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the U.S., and the Soviet Union. (Full bio: https://apollosfire.org/about/jeannette-sorrell/)

Acclaimed by BBC Music Magazine as a “rising star,” Spanish-born violinist Francisco Fullana is making a name for himself as a performer on the modern and baroque stages.
A 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, as a soloist, he has performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Bayerische Philharmonie led by the late Sir Colin Davis, the Sibelius Concerto with the Munchner Rundfunkorchester, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with Venezuela’s Teresa Carreño Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Additional conductors with whom he has worked include Hans Graf, Alondra de la Parra, Christoph Poppen, and Joshua Weilerstein, to name a few. Fullana’s versatility as a performer has resulted in appearances with such distinguished orchestras as the City of Birmingham (UK), Vancouver, Pacific and Buffalo symphony orchestras, the chamber orchestras of Saint Paul and Philadelphia, the baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire and the new music driven Metropolis Ensemble.
(Full bio: www.franciscofullana.com/about)
Named for the classical god of music, healing and the sun, the GRAMMY®-winning period-instrument ensemble Apollo’s Fire is dedicated to the baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts or passions
in the listeners. Founded by award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell in 1992, and having played over 700 concerts in Northeast Ohio and 1,100 concerts nationally and abroad, Apollo’s Fire celebrates its 30th anniversary this 2021-22 season.

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 has performed five European tours, with 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 at the Irish National Concert Hall (Dublin), the Irish National Opera House (Wexford), the Birmingham International Series (UK), the Tuscan Landscapes Festival (Italy), and Belfast Castle with a live broadcast carried by the Associated Press of Europe.

North American tour engagements include sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Boston Early Music Festival series, the Library of Congress, as well as at major venues in Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to name but a few. Its Cleveland subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming, is also frequently sold out.

Worldwide, Apollo’s Fire has 8 million views on YouTube and 25,000 Youtube subscribers. The ensemble launched an on-demand video series, the “Worldwide Watch-at-Home Series” in October 2020. To date, the ensemble has released 26 commercial CDs and won a GRAMMY® award in 2019 for the album Songs of Orpheus with tenor Karim Sulayman.

Apollo’s Fire gratefully acknowledges the support of Chicago’s early music community who have helped the ensemble to launch this season’s events, including: Music of the Baroque, Haymarket Opera Orchestra, Newberry Consort, and Third Coast Baroque. The ensemble also thanks the following Chicago Instiutions for their help: Northern Trust, The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Chicago Symphony, The Chicago Tribune, WFMT Radio, Ravinia Festival, Northwestern University, Music Institute of Chicago and Spertus Institute Chicago. (Full bio at https://apollosfire.org/about/apollos-fire/)

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