About Playing With Fire

Two-time Oscar-winning director Allan Miller takes us behind the scenes to explore the mysterious art of conducting. Playing With Fire follows Jeannette Sorrell, one of today’s most interesting conductors and a vivid interpreter of baroque and classical music. Sorrell, told by the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Orchestra that no one will hire a woman conductor, forms her own baroque orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, to immediate acclaim. The role of the conductor as storyteller emerges as Miller pursues the secrets of a conductor’s art. [documentary; English]

A Q&A with Jeannette Sorrell and executive producer Gina Maria Leonetti will take place after the screening.

“An exciting conductor turns an often rarefied topic into a lively experience in Playing With Fire… an insightful profile of a knowledgeable and passionate artist." — Early Music America Magazine

“Illuminating… If you’ve ever wondered why orchestras need conductors and what, exactly, takes place on that podium, Playing With Fire will answer all your questions." — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of baroque and classical repertoire. She studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein, Robert Spano, and Roger Norrington at the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals. As a harpsichordist, she studied with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam and won First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the U.S., and the Soviet Union. Sorrell is the founder and artistic director of Apollo's Fire, and has led the renowned period ensemble as conductor and harpsichord soloist in sold-out concerts from Carnegie Hall and London’s BBC Proms to the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals. At home in Cleveland, she and Apollo’s Fire have built one of the largest audiences of any baroque orchestra in North America.

Gina Maria Leonetti has spent approximately 20 years as a Directors Guild of America film/TV assistant director, working on a variety of television shows, commercials, and major motion pictures. Some of her credits include the films Married to the Mob and The Silence of the Lambs and the television series Tattinger's. More recently, Gina has executive-produced the short film First Chair along with the documentaries Fellowship of Reconciliation: Over 100 Years of Waging Peace & Justice, Art & Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer, and Playing with Fire: Jeannette Sorrell and the Mysteries of Conducting. Over the years, Gina has served on several boards. Currently, she’s in her eighth year serving on the 2nd Stage Theater Company’s board and in her second year on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship. She has lived in NYC for the last 41 years.

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

Presented in partnership with the Jacobs School of Music.

/film_images/playing with fire 4 CROPPED.png /film_images/playing with fire 2 CROPPED.png
/film_images/playing with fire 1 CROPPED.jpg

Related information

Explore this film

Parking, map, and more

Plan your visit