Jeannette Sorrell brings Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos to Heinz Hall

Sorrell conducts and leads on harpsichord in her PSO debut.

PITTSBURGH – Conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) 2012-2013 season at Heinz Hall with a concert featuring Bach’s The Six Brandenburg Concertos. Sorrell is one of the leading interpreters of Bach’s music and will provide insights into the work throughout the concert.

Six masterpieces in concerto grosso form, The Six Brandenburg Concertos are J.S. Bach’s supreme achievement in instrumental music. The pieces were unknown for over six generations until published as a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Bach’s death.

The Six Brandenburg Concertos will be performed by an ensemble of PSO musicians including solos by Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley, Lorna McGhee, Jennifer Conner, Marylène Gingras-Roy, Randolph Kelly, Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida and George Vosburgh.

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m., Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $93, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at

The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2012-2013 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the PSO.


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.” She takes her inspiration from the 17th-century concept of Affekt, in which the goal of the musician is to move the emotions of the listeners. Sorrell makes use of baroque dramatic devices, including rhetoric and harmonic tension and release, to bring baroque repertoire to life in a highly personal and communicative way.

In the 2012-2013 season, she makes her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony leading Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

With Apollo’s Fire, she leads a holiday celebration of Celtic artistic traditions that interweave selections from the medieval Vespers of St. Kentigern with ancient pagan carols and popular tunes from 17th-century Welsh and Scottish manuscripts for lute and harp. In the spring, she tours “Come to the River,” a cross-over program that explores a musical landscape that ranges from New England barn dances to old American revival music.

Sorrell opened the 2011 season with sold-out concerts at the Royal Theatre in Madrid, the Grand Théâtre de l’Opéra in Bordeaux, and major halls in Lisbon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, and Boston as part of an international tour with Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, of which she is the founder and Music Director.

Born in the U.S. of Swiss and American parents, 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 the First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 1991 Spivey International Harpsichord Competition. She holds an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, where upon graduation she was invited to join the faculty of the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.

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