Friday, July 20th, 2018

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Apollo’s Fire “Silver, the 25th Anniversary Gala”



Late afternoon sunlight sifted through the Stirn Hall glass into the opening reception for Silver, the 25th Anniversary Gala for Apollo’s Fire. Such an apt setting for the Cleveland-based baroque orchestra’s celebration: Just as the barely year-old hall brings fresh architectural and intellectual air into the century-old Hawken School, Jeannette Sorrell’s period-instrument musicians breathe new life into the works of 17th and 18th century composers.

As appropriately, the celebration centered on baroque music, with Apollo’s Fire and Hawken students regaling the 300 attendees with sections of Vivaldi’s “Il Gardellino” (The Goldfinch), “The Four Seasons,” and “Concerto in A minor for Two Violins.” Adding an exotic note, vocalists Brian Kay and Amanda Powell enhanced Spanish and Arabic verses from “Mediterranean Roots.” The Hawken Chamber Choir joined Powell and Hawken students Sofia and Luisa Castellanos for René Schiffer’s “Children of God.”

The gala honored several key contributors to the orchestra’s success, including Robert Conrad, co-founder and president, WCLV Radio; Kathleen Cerveny, poet and past director of arts grantmaking at the Cleveland Foundation; Dr. Shattuck W. Harwell Jr., arts supporter (in memoriam 1928-2009); Dr. Clyde (Les) and Deb Nash, arts activist; and Jeannette Sorrell, Apollo Fire’s founder and artistic director.

Following the concert, patrons dined on boneless beef short ribs braised in red wine and filet of salmon glazed in a Cleveland whiskey sauce, or stuffed tofu pockets with mushrooms and ginger. A fitting sweet end to the birthday celebration came in a cascade of color-coded chocolate, vanilla and lemon cupcakes.

The event raised more than $175,000, to be used toward Apollo Fire’s annual $2 million operating budget. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY PEGGY TURBETT



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