by Daniel Hathaway
Playing With Fire, Allan Miller’s 70-minute documentary about Apollo’s Fire artistic director Jeannette Sorrell that made its debut in New York last October, will be streamed through April 28 by the Cleveland International Film Festival — which has now moved online. Click here to watch a trailer.
The film follows Sorrell as she rehearses and performs with her Baroque orchestra in Cleveland and at Tanglewood, as she works with the conducting class at the Aspen Festival, and as she prepares for a Messiah performance with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. Testaments to her leadership by a number of her musicians are seeded through the narrative.
Miller, who has received Academy Awards for his documentaries about Isaac Stern (From Mao to Mozart) and Zubin Mehta (The Bolero), and has filmed the musical activities of Kurt Masur and Valery Gergiev, was inspired to follow Sorrell around after hearing a New York performance by Apollo’s Fire. The conductor and harpsichordist told me about that encounter in a recent Skype conversation. [Read more…]