Barney Sherman

Classical Music Host

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 and Sunday 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.

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Classical
3:55 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

IPR's New Classical CD Review Page: Bach's "Art of Fugue"

Dr. Uri Golomb
Credit uri-golomb.com

 Welcome to IPR's Classical CD Review Page! Check in weekly for new reviews by IPR staff and friends near and far.

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Classical
8:45 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

A Classical Halloween, pt 2: Rounding to 13

Erlkoenig by Moritz von Schwind
Credit public domain/ wikipedia

As promised, the classical Halloween countdown continues - thanks for your input!  Yesterday I posted eight picks; here are five more classical scares to bring my total Web count up to 13. Most of these pieces (and a few others) will get an airing Friday, either during my shift (1-5 pm) or before or after; meanwhile, here are some youtube versions.

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Classical
9:40 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

A Classical Halloween: Pt. 1 -What Should We Add?

The flick that made the Toccata and Fugue in D minor the ultimate horror score!
Credit wikepedia

It's that time again! If you have any classical-music Halloween favorites, write to us at classical@iowapublicradio.org. Tonight I'll post a few possibilities just to get the conversation started; tomorrow night I'll post a few more. Then, on Friday afternoon, tune in to hear what we end up with! To start things off:

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Classical
10:23 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Funniest Classical Videos (thx, Tom Service!)

Tom Service knows the score!
Credit Steve Bowbrick via flickr.com

His series on the 50 greatest symphonies is unsurpassed; his guide to contemporary music is unequaled; his book on conductors, Music as Alchemy, is the best of its genre. Tom Service is among the finest music writers

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Classical
8:55 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Classical "Bucket List" Poll: Cast YOUR Vote!

The Sphinx Virtuosi Nonet
Credit Nan Melville at sphinxmusic.org

  

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Classical
2:43 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

WATCH: Folias Duo Live at IPR's Studio 2

Folias Duo with Barney after the session

When the Folias Duo came to Iowa, the husband-wife pair's first stop was Cedar Falls, where they played a live set in IPR Classical's Studio Two. They'd been on the road for seven hours, but their zest was irresistible. Try it: here's a video of their IPR performance of Cumparsita Vals,  a waltz-time reimagining of the classic tango La Cumparsita by Argentine composer Pablo Aslan:

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Classical
5:11 pm
Sat October 4, 2014

Suzanne & Barney Team Up Today 11AM-1PM

Suzanne Bona
Credit Sunday Baroque

Every Sunday morning  Suzanne Bona brings us gems from before Mozart on  Sunday Baroque and Barney Sherman follows with four hours of great music.

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Classical
11:22 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Chang’s Dramatic Last Concert w. Qatar: 7PM

South Korean conductor and cellist Han-Na Chang
Credit Sheila Rock for EMI Classics

Last year the Qatar Philharmonic made headlines when it hired Han-Na Chang to be its music director. The South Korean woman raised the ensemble to international standards, and its London debut earlier this month got rave reviews. Then, hours afterwards, Chang quit, citing “persistent administrative difficulties and irreconcilable artistic differences with the management.” You can hear the concert that won over London tonight at 7 on IPRClassical.

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Classical
7:11 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Ames Town & Gown Brings on the Great

David Finckel and Wu Han, the husband and wife team who were among the recent highlights at Ames Town & Gown.
Credit http://www.davidfinckelandwuhan.com/

Iowa's orchestras, choirs, bands, & operas are awesome, but let's not forget our chamber music! Tune in 7AM Saturday or 8PM Sunday to hear two recent highlight from the Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association, now in its 65th season.

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Classical
2:36 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Yo-Yo Ma: "Music Happens BETWEEN the Notes"

Credit Stephen Danelian

Join Krista Tippett at this link to hear Yo-Yo Ma "share his philosophy of curiosity about life and of performance as hospitality." This episode of On Being is a must for every music lover!

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Classical
5:54 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Pronouncing Iowa Place Names: An Audio Guide (updated)

To succeed in Iowa, presidential hopefuls need to clear all sorts of hurdles that are unique to politics. But one is familiar to every Iowan: saying our state's place names correctly. Some pronunciations are obvious from the spelling, like Atlantic or Ira, but others tend to trip up newbies. Louisa County? Not like my cousin's first name. Madrid? Not like the city in Spain. Nevada? Not like that state out west. You can’t take anything for granted. But you're not on your own: Iowa Public Radio has you covered.

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Classical
4:56 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

National Broadcast of "Rock Island Line" Friday

Composer Jacob Bancks of Augustana College, whose "Rock Island Line" will be broadcast nationally with the Quad City Symphony.

Earlier this year I posted about "Iowa orchestras making music about Iowa " - and one work discussed was Rock Island Line by Jacob Bancks, commissioned and premiered by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and broadcast on IPR's Symphonies of Iowa. Bancks, who teaches at Augustana College, told me that

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Classical
10:07 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Voices Meet Music in New Ways on 5 CDs

Composer Erin Gee
Credit http://ledouxclaude.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/une-annee-nouvelle-rencontre-avec-erin-gee/

In what ways could music relate to the human voice without Auto-Tune or even, necessarily, language - or, for that matter, even singing? New classical CDs are exploring a fascinating range of possibilities, and several are either by or about Iowans. In reverse chronological order, here are five standouts:

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Classical
11:07 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Which IPR Stream Would Beethoven Listen To?

He would have cranked up his radio louder and louder as his hearing got worse, but there's no doubt that if public radio had existed, Beethoven would have been an addict. And according to Jan Swafford, "People who knew Beethoven said politics was his favorite subject." So in addition to IPR Classical, I'd bet LvB would have had a preset for IPR's News/Talk stream. Do you seriously think this man would have missed an episode of All Things Considered?

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Classical
4:42 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Simon Estes Speaks about His Life & Work

Dr. Simon Estes
Credit simonestesfoundation.org

In May, Simon Estes came to IPR to talk about his life and work, and one hour seemed way too short! His history is extraordinary: his grandparents were slaves, his father was a miner in Centerville, IA , then a major coal town, and he grew up to become one of the world's greatest opera singers. He broke many color barriers, including becoming the first black man to sing lead roles at the Bayreuth Festival (founded by Richard Wagner to showcase his operas). Dr.

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Classical
6:42 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Notable Classical Violinists Under 45: A List

In my post Is Parity Time Here for the Classical Violin? I mention a list I put together of classical solo violinists born after 1970, which I said illustrates my thesis that the field has attained gender parity. I mentioned, however, that the list is provisional - the best I could come up with from my perch in northeast Iowa - and that I welcome your input. Let me know what I missed, but meanwhile, here's the list:

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Classical
6:41 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Is Parity Time Here for the Classical Violin?

Midori Goto, born in Japan in 1971, one of the women who has reached the pinnacle of today's violin profession. (She also does serious educational outreach work, as in this picture.)
Credit http://www.midoriandfriends.org/

To paraphrase my previous post, if you think women have it bad in classical music, take a look at supposedly contemporary arts like film, literature, rock, jazz, and country.

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Classical
3:49 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

HEAR: ChamberFest Dubuque Live IPR Set!

Michael Gilbertson, the award-winning Dubuque-raised composer.
Credit michaelgilbertson.net

Listen below to a podcast of a live set from our studio Monday featuring four stellar young musicians from ChamberFest Dubuque.  Dubuque native Michael Gilbertson founded the festival in 2009; since then his compositions have won the Israel Prize and major awards from ASCAP and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and have been performed by the Washington National Opera, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, a

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Classical
9:35 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Beethoven, Brahms, & 'Rock Island Line" from QCSO

Composer Jacob Bancks of Augustana College

Join us Monday at 7 PM to hear the Quad City Symphony in Beethoven, Brahms, and ... Bancks. In March, the orchestra premiered a work by local composer Jacob Bancks specifically about the Quad Cities.

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Classical
11:21 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

How Exceptional IS Classical's Woman Problem? Pt. 1

Call me George: the woman who wrote Middlemarch.

NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas just wrote a scathingly brilliant post about the “fat-shaming” of the gifted Irish mezzo Tara Erraught by a plague of British critics, who sounded like teenage boys as they dissed not Erraught's singing but the supposed flaws of her body.

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Classical
8:11 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Jets, Sharks, & Historical Performance Now

Period instruments or modern - why not both? Violinist Rachel Barton Pine
Credit Andrew Eccles

When sworn enemies shrug and say, “What was THAT about?” it’s worth noticing, especially when they add, “You know, you’re making some good points.”  Something like that may be happening in classical music performance.

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Classical
11:41 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Hear as the WCFSymphony "takes us there"

Composer Brooke Joyce of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Join us tonight at 7PM to hear the wcfsymphony premiere a work by Decorah-based composer Brooke Joyce and perform Mahler's First Symphony. Below are my impressions of the April concert (which I posted here on April 9th) - tune in and see what YOU think!

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Classical
7:57 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Hear: Vedenyapin Sings Yiddish Songs at IPR

Yuri Vedenyapin of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, where he lectures on Yiddish folklore and culture.
Credit Yuri Vedenyapin

Before there was "Who's on first?" there was the similar routine, "Weinstein? Einstein!" by the Yiddish standup team Dzigan & Schumacher.

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Classical
7:54 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Russian-Yiddish In-Studio Set at IPR @2:30 PM

Singer Yuri Vedenyapin, who teaches Yiddish language and culture at Harvard's Davis Center, and has also taught at Columbia, Moscow State University, and the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. He studied in Moscow at the Schepkin School of Acting and the Maimonides Jewish Academy; his doctoral thesis is on Yiddish stand-up comedy.
Credit Yuri Vedenyapin

Russian-born singer/scholar Yuri Vedenyapin - a renowned expert in Yiddish folklore - will be in our studios Wednesday with Russian-guitar virtuoso Oleg Timofeyev to introduce us to the little-known repertory of Russian songs in Yiddish.

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Classical
9:18 am
Sat April 26, 2014

From Bach to "Teeth," Amazing Iowa Weekend

Roomful of Teeth's Caroline Shaw and Virginia Warnken. Shaw's "Partita," written for the group, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in music.
Credit David Andrako

Even I am a little stunned by how exciting, original - and abundant - the classical concerts are in Iowa this weekend. Here's a list (and please let me know if I've missed something! I'll add it - bsherman at iowapublicradio.org):

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Classical
10:48 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Vanska's Back in Minnesota

Osmo Vanska, the once and present music director of the Minnesota Orchestra
Credit Greg Helgerson

When the 16-month lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra ended in January, the orchestra had no conductor. Music director Osmo Vanska,  whose conducting had propelled the orchestra to international fame, resigned last year in support of the musicians, and without him... well, what exactly was Plan B?

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Classical
8:33 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

What's YOUR Favorite Shakespeare Music?

William Blake's 1786 painting of Oberon, Titania, and Puck - painted before Mendelssohn defined them musically!
Credit wikipedia

It MAY be SHAKEspeare's BIRTHday, SO they SAY, and WHAT muSIcian can reFRAIN from PLAY? That is (to drop the iambic pentameter) from the fun of listing favorite Shakespeare-inspired classical works? Below are a couple of lists from other sources, followed by my own additions and comments. What would make YOUR list? Let us know on our Facebook page or on twitter @IPRClassical, or by email (bsherman@iowapublicradio.org)  - and whatever you choose, Happy Shakespeare Day!

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Classical
4:09 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Simon Estes Live: Today at 2:00 pm

Simon Estes

Join us Thursday afternoon to hear one of the great musicians of our time, Simon Estes, as he tells us about his extraordinary work as a musician, humanitarian, and educator. Born in Centerville, IA, where his father worked as a coal miner, Estes was the first black male artist ever to appear at the Bayreuth Festival (he is one of the rare singers  to triumph in all of Wagner's major operas) and has sung lead roles with all of the world's great opera houses and orchestras.

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Classical
11:43 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Mighty Wurlitzer Returns to CR in Mahler: on IPR Tonight

The "Mighty Wurlitzer" at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, newly restored after extensive damage in the flood of 2008.
Credit Orchestra Iowa

The 2008 Cedar Rapids flood literally capsized the Paramount Theatre's Wurlitzer organ, leaving it badly damaged. But a coalition restored the historic instrument to its full glory, and Orchestra Iowa unveiled it this March in a triumphant concert that you can hear rebroadcast tonight at 7PM on IPR Classical.

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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 it's safe to say that Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is the greatest musical work ever written for Good Friday services. It is sometimes called “the opera Bach never wrote,” but I doubt it,  in part because Bach calibrated it for use in Leipzig’s liturgy, and in part because, as musicologist/performer John Butt once told me, it goes far beyond Baroque opera in its musical, dramatic and psychological complexity. 

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