Barney Sherman

Senior Music Producer

Barney Sherman joined Iowa Public Radio member station KSUI in fall 2001 as Classical music host. In his role with Iowa Public Radio, Barney hosts weekday afternoon Classical programs. He has written about music in books for Oxford and Cambridge university presses and in articles for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music, and many other publications.

Pages

Classical
10:16 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Bach's Passions: Guides from NPR & More

John Butt, OBE, Gardiner Chair of Music at the University of Glasgow and Music Director of the Dunedin Consort
Credit www.dunedin-consort.org

Careful writers think twice before using superlatives, but here’s one that seems safe: Bach’s Passions are the greatest musical works ever written for Good Friday services. They aren’t “the operas Bach never wrote,” partly because they were calibrated for use in Leipzig’s liturgy, but also because, as Bach authority John Butt once told me, they go far beyond Baroque opera in their musical, dramatic and psychological complexity. 

Read more
Classical
9:12 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Sirota+Brahms from wcfso, Monday 7 PM

Violist Nadia Sirota
Credit Samantha West

Violist Nadia Sirota - a leading advocate of new music, and former student of Jason Weinberger - recently joined the WCFSymphony to perform "beautiful music of a higher order than anything else you will hear this year" - works written for her by Judd Greenstein and Daniel Bjarnson. Then Weinberger led the orchestra in the sumptuous (but violin-free) Serenade no. 2 of Brahms. Hear the concert on Symphonies of Iowa, Sunday at 12 noon or Monday at 7 PM on IPR Classical. 

 

Read more
Classical
10:05 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Trio 826 Residency: the IPR Studio Session

Trio 826 in IPR's Studio One in Cedar Falls, Nov. 13, 2013
Credit Barney's phone

What led three awesome soloists - Julia Bullard (viola), Hannah Holman (cello), and Susanna Klein (violin) -  to form an ensemble, and why did they call it "Trio 826"? Hear the answers, and examples of their superb playing, in the live session they broadcast from IPR's studio last fall.

Read more
Classical
10:26 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Concert review: wcfsymphony takes us there...

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Read more
Classical
10:31 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Art Joins Science in "Crossroads Project"

Composer Laura Kaminsky

Tonight at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, the award-winning composer Laura Kaminsky, painter Rebecca Allen, physicist Robert Davies, and The Fry Street Quartet will join forces for an interdisciplinary exploration of climate change called The Crossroads Project. It's part of a

Read more
Classical
12:51 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

OI Shines in LvB, Dmitri, Barber & Mozart

Luke Witchger, the violin soloist in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, K. 362
Credit Orchestra Iowa

Mozart was 23 when he wrote a concerto so rich that not even he would ever surpass it. It's for Violin and Viola (K. 364) and when Orchestra Iowa performed the work recently,  instead of bringing in touring soloists, they shined the spotlight on their own  first violinist Luke Witchger and principal violist Lisa Ponton.  They were amazing:

Read more
Classical
10:57 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Is This London (or Paris)? No, It's Iowa!

Just an ordinary weekend in Iowa: Sure, if you were in London you could hear the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's Beethoven and Bruckner, and next weekend, see Sadler's Wells dance a Stravinsky double-bill. But think of the traffic and the cost of living! Meanwhile, here in Iowa? This month's Iowa Arts Showcase, which you can hear Saturday at 11 or 5, gives some in-depth background, but meanwhile  - check it out:

Read more
Classical
10:44 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Eyes & Ears on Osmo: Sibelius 5 tonight @6

Finnish conductor Osmo Vanska with the Minnesota Orchestra
Credit Greg Helgerson

When someone shouted "Osmo, come home,” it touched off "five minutes of clamorous applause, which quickly turned rhythmic." That demonstration was in Minneapolis this weekend, says the New York Times, which adds: "since management lifted its 16-month lockout of the players" of the Minnesota Orchestra "over a contract dispute, in January, the musicians have typically been greeted as conquering if

Read more
Classical
10:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Mozart Soiree from WCFSO @7 PM

Travel back in time tonight to hear the WCFSymphony's re-creation of  a Mozart soiree, recorded live at Waterloo’s newly-restored Brown Derby Ballroom. The elegant interior was the perfect setting for an array of Mozartian gems, culminating in the Symphony no. 40. Soloists included soprano Suzanne Lommler and Artistic Director Jason Weinberger on clarinet. Jacqueline Halbloom hosts this Symphonies of Iowa broadcast.

Classical
10:05 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Iowa Arts Showcase Today @ 11AM or 5PM

Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, who won the Gold Medal at the latest Van Cliburn competition
Credit IMG artists

Join Jacqueline Halbloom to hear about four musical events coming up in Iowa next month:

  • The Metropolitan Chorale's 60th Anniversary Concert
  • The Iowa recital of the 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko
  • The UI School of Music's Die Fledermaus at the Englert
  • The Des Moines recital of award-winning French classical guitarist Judicael Perroy
Read more
Classical
3:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Happy Bach's sort-of Birthday!

It's Bach's Birthday! - or is it? The calendars in Eisenach on the day of his birth read March 21st, but back in 1685 Thuringians were  still using the Julian calendar, so our equivalent date is "March 31st," ("equivalent" in being about ten days after the vernal equinox). But old habits die hard, especially addictive ones, and Bach is by far my primary addiction. How about if we just party for ten days?

Read more
Classical
10:51 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Iowa Orchestras Make Music - about Iowa

Composer Jacob Bancks (of Augustana College in the Quad Cities)

Iowa's orchestras are commissioning works about Iowa; but how can music without words convey anything about a place? Some examples:

Read more
Classical Music in the Afternoon
7:12 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Hear Zingaresca's In-Studio Set at IPR

Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov ("Zingaresca") performing in conjunction with O Porrajmos Education Society in Cedar Rapids
Credit Photo by Ciuin Ferrin; used with permission

Two masters of the Russian 7-string guitar, Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov, came into our studios last November to play original and traditional music. They told Barney Sherman about composing Roma music in Moscow, performing with Eugene Hutz at Madonna's birthday party, and reading a scene in Dostoevsky that connects Roma and Klezmer musicians. And they demonstrated the special sound and style of their instruments.

Read more
Classical
8:23 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Post 3: What Makes It "Classical," pt. deux

Paul McCartney at Carnegie Hall for the U.S. premiere of his award-winning 2006 oratorio "Ecce Cor Meum" (Behold My Heart).
Credit Sean Henri from Wikipedia

I’ve put it off all week, but the public clamor is getting overwhelming…um, would you believe a single email?... so: On to the follow-up! In my last post, I explained why my trusty ideas about “what makes music classical” now seem confused, and I promised to follow up with a more viable approach. Here's a start. I don’t want to oversell it; at best, it’s only part of the answer. But for me, it helps clear at least some of the fog. 

Read more
Classical Music in the Afternoon
7:08 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Hear Fathom's In-Studio Renaissance Set

Fathom in IPR's Studio One in Cedar Falls, February 28, 2014
Credit Barney Sherman

If you missed the in-studio live set of Renaissance music by Fathom, not to worry - Fortune has smiled on you! You can listen to the mp3 with the widget below or to a WAV file at this link.  The group performed music written from the 1400s through February, 2014 (by Mary Larew, a native of Iowa and member of Fathom), all of it focused on the theme of Lady Luck. The six members of Fathom each have distinguished careers in early music (and in some cases, new music as well). They are:

Read more
Classical
11:59 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Orchestra Iowa's Beethoven 7, Italian Gems

Orchestra Iowa and music director Tim Hankewich
Credit Orchestra Iowa

Join us Sunday at noon or Monday at 7PM as Orchestra Iowa performs "the apotheosis of the dance" - Beethoven's wildly inspired Seventh Symphony - preceded by two neglected Italian masterpieces. Nino Rota is best known for his film scores for Fellini and Coppola, but was even more important as a concert composer, and double-bass virtuoso Volkan Orhon shows what we've been missing in the Divertimento Concertante. And Giuseppe Martucci's Nocturne is an inexplicably neglected beauty, as Tim Hankewich and the orchestra demonstrate in this concert recorded at the Paramount in Cedar Rapids.

Read more
Classical
6:09 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Trio Settecento Italian Baroque in Ames

Trio Settecento
Credit triosettecento.com

Join us Saturday at 7AM or Sunday at 6PM to hear selections from the Ames concert by one of today's leading Baroque ensembles, Trio Settecento. Violin virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine, cellist/ gambist John Mark Rozendaal, and harpsichordist David Schrader perform music of the Italian Baroque as guests of Ames Town and Gown. The broadcast is part of our University Concert series.

Read more
Studio One
5:25 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Nadia Sirota's Studio One concert tonight

Violist, radio host, and new-music advocate Nadia Sirota
Credit Samantha West from nadiasirota.com

Tune in during tonights' 7PM hour as a groundbreaking artist combines her viola and her iPad to create music that's hard to classify  (but of amazing beauty). Nadia Sirota is performing this weekend with the wcfsymphony and Jason Weinberger  - but also works with Arcade Fire, My Brightest Diamond, Grizzly Bear, Jónsi and other hard-to-classify artists. She's part of a new wave for which there's no adequate word quite yet - but you can catch it tonight! Al Schares hosts this Live from Studio One broadcast.

Read more
Classical
2:50 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Fathom's live Renaissance set @ 3 PM

Tune in at 3pm for a live in-studio concert of Renaissance music by the NY-based group Fathom.  Its six members, including two Iowans, have distinguished careers in early music (and in some cases, new music as well). They are:

Read more
Classical
7:28 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Nadia Sirota @IPRClassical on Tuesday

Violist and new-music advocate Nadia Sirota
Credit nadiasirota.com

At 4 PM Tuesday, go behind the scenes at Iowa Public Radio's studios on the UNI campus for a live taping with wcfsymphony soloist and musical explorer Nadia Sirota. IPR on-air personalities will lead you on a tour of the recently renovated studios, followed by a talk-and-play taping with Nadia (to be broadcast later). Sirota is a leading new music advocate, who next weekend will perform “beautiful music of a higher order than anything else you will hear this year,” with the wcfsymphony.

Read more
Classical
5:44 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Kristallnacht Commemoration Monday @7

Children at the Terezin death camp
Credit Orchestra Iowa

There's another chance to hear wcfsymphony’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom that some believe marked the beginning of the Final Solution. The concert was organized by Jason Weinberger, who tells Jacqueline Halbloom about his four grandparents, all of whom survived Nazi camps, and leads a host of musicians and speakers from around the community. Participants included Hunter Capoccioni, Cedar Valley Chamber Musicians, the Metropolitan Chorale, the Wartburg Choir, the Cedar Valley Youth Honor Chorus, Brian Pfaltzgraff, and Lee Nelson.

Read more
Classical
10:27 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Blog Post 2: Just What IS "Classical Music"?

Duke and Trane from the cover of their LP together. That these two giants were artists is disputed by exactly no one!

Quick: define “classical music.”  It may sound easy, but most of my attempts have been dead ends. They don't get you to much of the music. Later I’ll discuss a definition that I think works - it covers everything, and helps explain why classical music matters to us. But first let me give you a tour of some of the blind alleys.

Read more
Classical
8:36 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Tallis Fantasia, Scottish Fantasy from DMSO

The Des Moines Symphony and Joseph Giunta in a warmer, dryer season!
Credit Des Moines Symphony

Hear Joe Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and a lesser-known gem, based on Scottish folk melodies, Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. The soloist in the Bruch is the award-winning young Japanese violinist Fumiaki Miura. Also on the program: Wagner's Rienzi Overture and Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier suite. The broadcast, on Sunday at 12 noon and Monday at 7PM, is part of our Symphonies of Iowa series, produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

Read more
Classical
10:06 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Met's "Woman Without a Shadow" @Noon

Christina Goerke in her breakthrough role as the woman without a shadow at the Met.
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Richard Strauss scored "Die Frau ohne Schatten" for, count 'em, 164 instruments; the percussion alone include "glass harmonica, 4 timpani, 5 Chinese gongs, cymbals, snare drum, rute, sleigh bells, bass drum, tenor drum, big field drum, triangle, tambourine, 2 castanets, tamtam, whip (slapstick), xylophone, glockenspiel, bells, 2 celestas." Budgets alone would make performance rare, as do scenery challenges (like a golden waterfall and, we're not making this up, children singing out of a frying pan).

Read more
Classical
11:08 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Hadelich Overcomes Injury, Attains Greatness

Violinist Augustin Hadelich in his new home city.
Credit Schmidt Artists

Doctors told 15-year-old violin prodigy Augustin Hadelich he would never play again. A tractor fire at his family's farm had badly burned his upper body, including his bowing arm. But after many months of physical therapy Hadelich came back - and now, at age 29, he has won top international awards, been entrusted with two consecutive Stradivarius violins, and earned praise from critics like Alex Ross, who wrote in The New Yorker that Hadelich has not only "fast-fingered brilliance" but also "the musicality and freewheeling fantasy that...

Read more
Classical
10:58 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Orchestra Iowa players: Haydn, Mozart, Brahms

Credit Wikipedia

Join us tonight at 7 to hear Orchestra Iowa principal players delight with masterpieces for horn by Haydn and Mozart and a supreme works for string by Brahms. Principal horn Andy Harris shines in a Divertimento by Haydn and the Horn Quintet by Mozart; he's joined by the orchestra's new concertmaster Luke Witchger and by Karla Galva,  violist Lisa Ponton, cellist Carey Bostian, and double-bassist Volkon Orhan. Then five strings players come together for the masterpiece that Brahms meant to be his final work - his  String Quintet no. 2.

Read more
Classical
7:21 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Orchestra Iowa soloists shine in 3 gems

Credit Orchestra Iowa

Tune in Sunday at noon or Monday at 7PM as four Orchestra Iowa members perform overlooked gems by Mozart, Schubert and Faure. They start with an unfinished String Trio by the teenage Schubert, continue with a Piano Trio in C major that Mozart wrote while working on his "Jupiter" Symphony, then come together for a powerful Piano Quartet in G Minor by Faure, his second. The four superb soloists -  violinist Xian Meng, violist Lisa Ponton, cellist Carey Bostian, and pianist Miko Kominami  - were recorded last September as part of IPR's Symphonies of Iowa series.

Read more
Classical
9:13 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Herrera, Weill & Black History Month on IAS

Cuban jazz pianist Nachito Herrera, who will appear at the UNI's Tallcorn Jazz Festival.
Credit Heartland Concert Artists

Join Jacqueline Halbloom at 5PM as Iowa Arts Showcase finds out about the Tallcorn Jazz Festival, a Kurt Weill show with poetry by Langston Hughes, and more.  We'll hear about the festival from a headliner, Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera, and from Chris Merz, UNI's Director of Jazz Studies. Celeste Bembry of UNI (who toured worldwide with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers) fills us in on Black History Month, and Bernard McDonald of Simpson tells us about their upcoming production of Weill's Street Scene.

Read more
Classical
6:40 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Renee's Rusalka (& O Say Was That 4/4?)

Renee Fleming as Rusalka in Dvorak's opera at the Metropolitan Opera
Credit Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

How do you top a Super Bowl triumph? Renee Fleming does it by returning to a signature role - the love-struck sprite Rusalka in Dvorak's beautiful opera. Saturday at noon you can hear it live from the Metropolitan Opera on IPR  - OR watch it live in HD video in theaters in Ames, Cedar Falls, Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Grinnell, and Iowa City.

Read more
Classical Music in the Afternoon
7:29 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Roma/Russian Guitar Session by "Zingaresca"

Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov ("Zingaresca") performing in conjunction with O Porrajmos Education Society in Cedar Rapids
Credit Photo by Ciuin Ferrin; used with permission

With all eyes on Sochi, here's a little IPR extra for the ears: two masters of the Russian 7-string guitar, Oleg Timofeyev and Vadim Kolpakov, who came into our studios last November to play original and traditional music. They told me about composing Roma music in Moscow, performing with Eugene Hutz at Madonna's birthday party, and reading a scene in Dostoevsky that connects Roma and Klezmer musicians. And they demonstrated the special sound and style of their instruments.

Read more

Pages