Award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell 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.” Sorrell made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2013 as conductor and soloist in the complete Brandenburg Concertos. With standing ovations every night, the event was hailed as “an especially joyous occasion” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). Other guest conducting engagements include the Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the New World Symphony (Miami), Utah Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and the Houston Early Music Festival where she filled in for British conductor Richard Egarr on five days’ notice, leading the complete Brandenburg Concertos and playing the harpsichord solo in Brandenburg No. 5.
Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire record for the British label AVIE RECORDS, and have released 24 commercial CDs, of which seven have been Top 10 bestsellers on the Billboard Classical chart. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti and harpsichord concerti (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 Magazine. Billboard bestsellers include the Brandenburgs, the Monteverdi Vespers, and Sorrell’s 4 crossover/folk programs: Come to the River – An Early American Gathering; Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas Vespers; Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering; and Sephardic Journey – Wanderings of the Spanish Jews.
Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious “American Masterpieces” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the research and production of early American music. Her awards include an honorary doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, the Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society of Early Music and the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, given for her work in reconstructing early American repertoire. As a teenager, Ms. Sorrell lived in the rural Shenandoah Valley, where she grew to love Appalachian music and Southern harmony.