APOLLO'S FIRE, a 17th and 18th century baroque orchestra based in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS , first performed in June of 1992. The group was founded by Jeannette Sorrell of the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute (faculty, 1990-1994), in collaboration with Roger Wright, then Artistic Administrator of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA. Conceived of from the onset as a non-profit arts organization, the group received initial funding from the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION. As the project developed, Apollo's Fire ensembles came to vary from performance to performance, at times comprising full-size orchestras with professional musicians and choral members, Apollo's Singers, recruited from throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. A first recording, a six-piece rendition of Handel's Messiah, was released in 1996. Press reviews emphasized the group's musicianship and the historical accuracy of its performances; its significant early honors included the 1995 Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society and the 1998 Northern Ohio Live Achievement Award for Classical Music.
In 2001 Apollo's Fire relocated its business office from BEACHWOOD to the Cleveland Heights Rockefeller Building at 3091 Mayfield Road. At the time of its tenth anniversary (20002), a full orchestral and choral version of the group performed Mozart's Requiem at University Circle's SEVERANCE HALL. Among a number of national performances in the early 2000s, the group played the Library of Congress (2002), the Gilmore International Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan (2004), and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado (2006). During the same period the group was broadcast live on National Public Radio, BBC Radio, the Canadian CBC, and European Community Radio. As of early 2007, Sorrell continued in her role as music director, with Marjorie Kitchell serving as Board President.