Omaha Symphony Showcases Vivaldi


April 10th, 2014

Omaha, NE — If it ain’t baroque…then it won’t appear on this weekend’s Omaha Symphony concert!


Jeannette Sorrell

Jeannette Sorrell

The Omaha Symphony presents a special concert this Saturday, April 12, in the Holland Center. The entire program consists of music written by baroque composer, Antonio Vivaldi, and will feature guest conductor Jeannette Sorrell. Sorrell is the founder and conductor of “Apollo’s Fire,” a period-instrument ensemble based in Cleveland. She explains that she was attracted to the sound and texture of the original instruments.

“The transparency and the colors that you can get, and so it really drew me in that direction,” Sorrell said.

Along with playing original instruments comes original performance practice. Sorrell explains that teachers at the time emphasized moving the audience emotionally, and likens her approach to great rhetoric.

“The great orator whose giving a speech – someone like JFK or Martin Luther King Jr – they way they would use pauses and crescendos to hold the audience in suspense at moments and keep them engaged,” she said.

Sorrell points out that Vivaldi’s music was popular due to its energy and vigor.

“He was the music master at an orphanage for girls in Venice,” she said. “You can really hear that we was writing for youthful performers. There’s a kind of Rock and Roll, earthy quality to a lot of his concertos. I think that why they are so popular today. It’s music written for teenagers.”

The concert will feature many different members of the Omaha Symphony as soloists, including one concerto featuring four violin soloists!

“The four violinists are really engaged in a dialog with each other, and it’s quite dramatic, particularly when all four of them join together,” Sorrell said.

This performance will also feature instruments not usually seen at the front of the ensemble.

“We’re also doing a concerto for bassoon, which is a lovely piece, very fast stuff for the bassoon. It’ll be fun to hear the bassoon featured in that way. You don’t get to hear that very often,” she said.

For the last work on the program, things will get a little crazy.

“La Folia, which means ‘madness’, it’s a pretty wild piece, as you can imagine from the title. And the piece gets faster and wilder as it goes on,” she said.

“Viva Vivaldi” featuring conductor Jeannette Sorrell and members of the Omaha Symphony is on stage at the Holland Performing Arts Center Saturday, April 12, at 8 pm. Tickets and more information is available at

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