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About the Maestro

About Bruce Sorrell

Under the direction of Bruce Sorrell, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra has been repeatedly recognized for excellence. In August 2013, The Kansas City Star reviewer raved, “The orchestra’s performance of Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 in C major was as exciting an event as I’ve heard in Helzberg
Hall . . . ” Sorrell founded the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in 1987 and 2018-2019 marks his 32nd season with the ensemble.

Over nearly three decades, he has led highly acclaimed performances of symphonies by Beethoven, Schumann, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Haydn. He has been consistently praised for his interpretations of music from the late Baroque period. Not limited to this repertoire, he has conducted works by Britten, Stravinsky, Maxwell-Davies, Zwilich, Locklair, Jean Belmont Ford, and Forrest Pierce. His education concerts have been

enthusiastically received by school students and teachers, and he is also a popular pre-concert lecturer and community speaker.

Sorrell has conducted several highly successful collaborations with the Kansas City Chorale, including performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, portions of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. He was a frequent guest conductor of the Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City. In partnership with Paul Mesner Puppets, he co-produced and conducted puppet versions of The Mikado and Hansel and Gretel. Sorrell was director of choirs at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City from 1992 to 2012.

Sorrell’s work with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra has been recognized by many Kansas City organizations. In May 1997, the Kansas City Musical Club honored Sorrell with its annual award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Kansas City. In February 2000, he was presented the Citation for Achievement, for accomplishments and contributions in the arts, by William Jewell College, the highest alumni award the college bestows. The Kansas City Alumnae of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity, honored Sorrell in June 2000 as a National Arts Associate. 

In 2008, he produced and conducted a recording with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and internationally renowned Celtic folk singer and recording artist, Connie Dover. A native of Wichita, Kansas, Sorrell earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance from William Jewell College and studied at Oxford University, England. He earned the Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he studied with Anshel Brusilow, and did further advanced conducting studies with Frank Shipway in London, England. 

Sorrell was appointed Executive Director of Chamber Music Tulsa in 2012, a position he holds concurrently with his role as Music Director and Conductor of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. 

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