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Guest Conductor Jeannette Sorrell Leads Mozart and More

Founding director of acclaimed period-instrument ensemble Apollo’s Fire makes her long-awaited debut as guest conductor with an electrifying program of Mozart and more. Spanning his life from childhood to prime, Jeannette Sorrell and PBO present this enchanting Mozartian voyage, featuring PBO’s own Gonzalo X. Ruiz and a beautiful suite from Mozart’s then-popular contemporary André Grétry—Sorrell calls him, “Mozart, with a French accent.”

MOZART Overture to La finta semplice, K. 51
GRÉTRY Orchestral suite from Zémire et Azor
MOZART Concerto for Oboe in C major, K. 314
MOZART Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

Jeannette Sorrell, conductor
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, oboe

November 15th sponsored by Nicolas Elsishans & Christopher Hayes

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday November 13 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Friday November 15 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday November 16 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday November 17 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Join us for the Pre-Concert Talk forty-five minutes prior to the concert start time.

JEANNETTE SORRELL – conductor

Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most creative early-music conductors.  She has been credited by the U.K.’s BBC Music Magazine for forging “a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music… a seductive vision of musical authenticity.”

Hailed as “one of the world’s finest Baroque specialists” (St Louis Post-Dispatch), Sorrell was one of the youngest students ever accepted to the prestigious conducting courses of the Aspen and the Tanglewood music festivals.  She studied conducting under Robert Spano, Roger Norrington and Leonard Bernstein, and harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 1991 Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the U.S., and the Soviet Union.

Sorrell founded Apollo’s Fire in 1992.  Since then, she and the ensemble have built one of the largest audiences of any baroque orchestra in North America.  She has led AF in sold-out concerts at London’s BBC Proms and London’s Wigmore HallMadrid’s Royal Theatre (Teatro Real), the Grand Théâtre de l’Opéra in Bordeaux, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Tanglewood Festival, Boston’s Early Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Library of Congress, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), among others.

As a guest conductor, Sorrell has worked with many of the leading American symphony orchestras and is represented by Columbia Artists Management.  Recent engagements include the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center (Handel’s Messiah).  Her 2013 debut 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).  The same occurred with her recent debut with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, where the Twin Cities Pioneer Press wrote, “Other masters of the [baroque] style have been paying visits, but none has summoned up as much energy, enthusiasm and excitement from the orchestra as Sorrell.”  She has also appeared as conductor or conductor/soloist with the New World Symphony (Miami), the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), the Grand Teton Music Festival, and has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra as guest keyboard artist.  In 2014 Ms. Sorrell filled in for British conductor Richard Egarr on 5 days’ notice, leading the complete Brandenburg Concertos and playing the harpsichord solo in Brandenburg no. 5, for the closing concert of the Houston Early Music Festival.

Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 25 commercial CDs, of which seven have been bestsellers on the Billboard classical chart.  Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti and harpsichord concerti of Bach (with Sorrell as harpsichord soloist and director), which was praised by the London Times as “a swaggering version… brilliantly played by Sorrell.”  She has also released four discs of Mozart, and was hailed as “a near-perfect Mozartian” by Fanfare Record Magazine.  Other recordings include Handel’s Messiah, the Monteverdi Vespers and four creative crossover projects: Come to the River – An Early American Gathering (Billboard Classical #9, 2011); Sacrum Mysterium- A Celtic Christmas Vespers (Billboard Classical #11, 2012); Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering (Billboard Classical #5, 2015)and Sephardic Journey – Wanderings of the Spanish Jews (Billboard World Music Chart #2 and Billboard Classical #5, Feb. 2016).

 Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming.  She holds an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, and honorary doctorate from Case Western University, two special awards from the National Endowment for the Arts for her work on early American music, and an award from the American Musicological Society, and two different awards from the Cleveland Arts Prize.  Passionate about guiding the next generation of performers, Ms. Sorrell has led many baroque projects for students at Oberlin Conservatory and is a frequent guest coach at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  She is the architect of AF’s highly successful Young Artist Apprentice Program, which has produced many of the leading young baroque professionals in the country today.

GONZALO X. RUIZ – oboe

Gonzalo X. Ruiz is one of America’s most sought after historical woodwind soloists.  In recent seasons Mr. Ruiz has appeared as principal oboist and soloist with leading groups in the U.S. and Europe, such as The English Concert, Sonnerie, Wiener Akademie, Philharmonia, Trinity Wall Street, The Boston Early Music Festival, and Musica Angelica, under such conductors as McGegan, Savall, Manze, Antonini, Huggett, Goodwin, Pinnock, Hasselböck, Rattle, Hogwood, and Egarr.  He has been featured in numerous recordings of orchestral, chamber, and solo repertoire and his reconstructions of the original versions of Bach’s Orchestral Suites received a Grammy nomination in 2010.  Critics have declared Mr. Ruiz “one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell) and “a master of expansive phrasing, lush sonorities, and deft passagework” (San Francisco Chronicle).  For years he has taught at Oberlin Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and most recently was appointed professor at The Juilliard School.  Mr. Ruiz has given master classes at Yale University, Indiana University, the New World Symphony, and his former students now fill the ranks of many top groups across the country.  Equally accomplished on the modern oboe, he has been principal oboe of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, with recent performances including the concertos of Mozart, Vaughn Williams, and Strauss.  For many years Mr. Ruiz led the ensemble American Baroque, specializing in new music commissions, for which he received the 2000 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.  He is an acknowledged expert in historical reed techniques and examples of his work are on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Sorrell presents an elegantly proportioned Symphony No. 40…vividly characterized.”

—The Independent, London

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