Headshot of Jeannette Sorrell © Roger Mastroianni

Jeannette Sorrell

Last updated: January 18, 2023

GRAMMY®-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 the 2019 documentary by Academy Award-winning director Allan Miller Playing with Fire.

Sorrell studied conducting at the Aspen and the Tanglewood music festivals under Leonard Bernstein and Roger Norrington and harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won First Prize in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

She is the founder of Apollo’s Fire and has led the renowned ensemble as conductor and harpsichord soloist at London’s BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Madrid’s Royal Theatre, and London’s Wigmore Hall as well as the Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Boston Early Music festivals, among others. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 26 commercial CDs, including 8 bestsellers on the Billboard classical chart and a 2019 GRAMMY® winner. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti, Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and the Monteverdi Vespers.

In demand as a guest conductor with symphony orchestras and period ensembles alike, Sorrell appears this season with the Seattle Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León. She has repeatedly conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, and New World Symphony, and led the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Opera St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, the Florida Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, and the Royal Northern Sinfonia (UK), among others. Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming, using contextual and dramatic elements. She has received an honorary doctorate from Case Western University and an award from the American Musicological Society.

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