CH's Apollo’s Fire celebrates 30 years

Apollo's Fire at Carnegie Hall, March 2022

credit: Stefan Cohen

Cleveland Heights’ resident international baroque orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, celebrates 30 years of music this spring. From its first performance, on June 11, 1992, the ensemble enjoyed immediate success, with sell-out concerts across the nation, international tours, and 29 acclaimed albums, one of which won a Grammy in 2019.

“We’re proud to make Cleveland Heights our home base,” said founder and Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell. “The community has always been incredibly supportive of classical music.”

The orchestra will celebrate this landmark anniversary with local concerts and events. The first, on April 30, will be a free family concert at the Lee Road Library, at 3 p.m. “Violinist & Swordsman: The Amazing Black Composer, Joseph Bologne,” will tell the story of an 18th-century French musician who, despite being born into slavery, became a knight, a fencing champion, and a great violinist.

Free family concerts are part of Apollo’s Fire’s extensive education and outreach programming, which include music workshops, mentorship programs, a children’s choir, an educational video series, and free student tickets to in-person and online concerts. Designed to encourage a love of music and inspire the next generation of musicians and audiences, these programs have grown in recent years thanks to partnerships with Cleveland-area foundations and schools.

In May, Apollo’s Fire will perform Mozart and the Chevalier, May 6–8. These weekend performances will mark the ensemble’s return to Severance Music Center. The repertoire includes Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture: Exsultate, Jubilate; and “Haffner” Symphony; along with works by the “Chevalier,” Joseph Bologne. Also featured will be internationally acclaimed violin soloist Francisco Fullana, and soprano Sonya Headlam, an Ohio native.

In June Apollo’s Fire will commemorate the exact anniversary of its June 11 debut with a gala benefit, Resplendent, at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

“We’re excited to celebrate our local musical treasure,” said Judy Bundra, director of development for Apollo’s Fire. “The [June 11] event will raise funds to enable Apollo's Fire to serve Cleveland and the world, with its exciting performances and meaningful education and outreach opportunities.”

Apollo’s Fire makes its administrative home in the Rockefeller Building in Cleveland Heights, and performs approximately 40 concerts annually in Northeast Ohio.

For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit or call 216-320-0012.

Nichole Fehrman

Nichole Fehrman ss the director of marketing for Apollo's Fire.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 6:06 PM, 05.01.2022