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Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents Apollo’s Fire with director Jeannette Sorrell in a program of music for Bach’s Coffeehouse – March 24 in Boston.

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ARTIST: Apollo’s Fire (United States)
Jeannette Sorrell, director

Olivier Brault, Johanna Novom, Julie Andrijeski, Adrian Post, Evan Few, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Carrie Krause, and Emi Tanabe, violin; Karina Schmitz, Kristen Linfante, and Alan Choo, viola; René Schiffer, Rebecca Landell Reed, and Sarah Stone, violoncello; Sue Yelenjian, contrabass; Francis Colpron and Kathie Stewart, traverso & recorder; John Lenti, theorbo & guitar; Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichord.
WHEN: Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 8pm
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
PROGRAM:  A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse

G.P. Telemann: Don Quixote Suite (Selections)
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 in G Major, BWV 1049
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
G.F. Handel: Chaconne from Terpsicore (Il pastor fido), HWV 8c
A. Vivaldi/arr. Sorrell: La Folia (Madness)

Tickets for the Boston performance are priced at $20, $39, $51, and $70 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is available by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2017-2018 Season.

Heralded for their “blend of scholarship and visceral intensity” (Gramophone), American chamber orchestra Apollo’s Fire returns to Boston in a program inspired by J. S. Bach’s lively performances at Zimmermann’s Coffeehouse. The 18th-Century Leipzig café is famous for hosting concerts where Bach and his Collegium Musicum liked to let their hair down! Director – and harpsichord soloist – Jeannette Sorrell leads an ensemble of 18 instrumentalists in a program of Bach’s sensational fourth and fifth Brandenburg Concertos as well as rousing masterworks by Vivaldi, Handel, and Telemann.

Originally founded as an informal student orchestra by Georg Phillip Telemann, the Collegium Musicum flourished under Bach’s leadership as a showcase for both his own secular compositions and for pieces from across Europe that he held in high esteem. Written long before his arrival in Leipzig, Bach’s iconic Brandenburg Concertos were sure to have been performed at the Kaffeehaus. The fourth work of that collection features revolutionary pyrotechnics for the violin, who shares the spotlight with a pair of devilish recorder parts. The fifth Brandenburg Concerto is especially unique in demanding a bravura, almost athletic level of speed from the harpsichordist. Apollo’s Fire complements these selections with suites by Telemann and Handel and Jeannette Sorrell’s own concerto grosso arrangement of Vivaldi’s intensely dramatic La Folia.

There will a Pre-Concert Talk at 7pm with members of the ensemble.

Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo’s Fire was founded by its Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell, to revive the Baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts or passions in listeners. At home in Cleveland, Apollo’s Fire frequently enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming. North American tour engagements include sold-out concerts at the Tanglewood Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, the Boston Early Music Festival series, and the Library of Congress, as well as concerts at the Aspen Music Festival, and major venues in Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Hailed as “one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles” (The Independent, London), Apollo’s Fire made its London début 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), and at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK).

Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most creative early-music conductors. She has been credited by the BBC Music Magazine for forging “a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music.” She studied conducting under Leonard Bernstien, Roger Norrington and Robert Spano, and harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam, winning both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 1991 Spivey International Harpsichord Competition. Sorrell’s recent guest conducting engagements include the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. Her 2013 début with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as conductor and soloist in the complete Brandenburg Concertos was met with standing ovations every night, and hailed as “an especially joyous occasion” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). She has also led the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, and the Grand Teton Festival, among others.

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BEMF’s 2017–2018 Season Press Release:

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY-winning and four GRAMMY-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 20th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9-16, 2019, and will feature fully staged performances of Agostino Steffani’s Orlando generoso as the centerpiece opera. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The 2017–2018 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, WGBH Radio Boston, Harpsichord Clearing House, and The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email