Ongoing Coverage:

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.

Pages

Classical
8:12 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Sumaya, Messiah, St. Olaf's: An IPR Christmas!

Betsy Burleigh, chair of choral conducting at Indiana University, leads a rousing "Messiah" with the Pittsburgh Symphony and singers, Christmas Day at 2 PM
Credit Indiana University School of Music

Where can you hear a full hour of Baroque Christmas music by Manuel de Sumaya - the greatest Mexican composer of the era? And the St. Olaf Christmas Festival? And Handel's Messiah led by one America's foremost choral conductors, Betsy Burleigh? (That's her picture.) You got it - on IPR Classical! Here's our Christmas Day classical schedule:

Read more
Classical
10:34 am
Wed December 24, 2014

'Amahl' from DM, Morehouse/Spelman, & More

Eric Whitacre
Credit Christoph Müller-Girod / Chor.com via Flickr

After wcfso's Messiah and the live Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, IPR Classical's Christmas Eve programming continues all day and evening with everything from Brubeck to Whitacre - including some outstanding Iowa events!

 

Read more
Classical
2:33 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Festival of 9 Lessons &Carols Live @9am Wednesday!

Since 1918 - a month after the Armistice - King's College, Cambridge has celebrated Christmas Eve with "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols." And since 1928  - even during World War II, when the stained glass windows had to be removed for safety - the event has been broadcast live. You can hear the 2014 Festival as it happens on (what for us is ) Wednesday at 9 AM on IPR Classical. The Festival was meant to be innovative, so every year , in addition to old favorites, the choir commissions a new choral piece.

Read more
Classical
3:17 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Tonight: wcfso "Messiah" & "Christmas at Luther"!

the wcfsymphony and Metropolitan Chorale at the Gallagher-Bluedorn
Credit wcfsymphony

IPR's Holiday programming continues with two homegrown Iowa classics: from Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Handel's Messiah with the wcfso and Metropolitan Choir (at 7 PM), and from Decorah, this year's "Christmas at Luther" broadcast, titled "And on Earth, Peace" (at 8 PM).  The Messiah excerpts were recorded at a community sing held at the Gallagher-Bluedorn last weekend - join us for the highlights at 7!

Read more
Classical
7:23 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Oy, Have We Got Christmas Songs for You! - Links & A Long List

Irving Berlin (born Irving Beilin in Russia) at his first job in New York in 1906; he was 18.
Credit wikipedia

I was working on a post about a fascinating footnote to American cultural history: that half of our popular Christmas songs were written by my people, the Jews.  Before I'd made it through the first draft, I tuned to Iowa Public Radio and discovered that I'd been scooped by Here & Now, to which I can only say, "Phew!" Here is their "A Goyische Christmas to You," about a show done annually by pianist/vocal coach extraordinaire Steven Blier.

Read more
Arts and Culture
3:03 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Begonias & Dead Horses: The Best Folk & Classical Music of 2014

Cover art for Runa's Current Affairs album. Karen Impola ranks it number two on her list of the best releases of 2014

It was a good year for chamber music, orchestras, fusion and harmonies. That's according to two of IPR's music hosts who shared their favorite recordings of 2014.

Read more
Classical
10:49 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Review: Two OTHER Adams Highlights from 2014

John Adams
Credit Margareta Mitchell

In 2014, two American composers whose name begin with "John" and end with "Adams" were surprised to find themselves in front-page headlines. One of them,  John Luther Adams, says he never imagined that he'd win the Pulitzer Prize - but it was bestowed in April on his orchestral work Become Ocean (here's the All Things Considered story).

Read more
Classical
8:21 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Hear Iowa's "Classical Musts" Sunday Afternoon

Who is this man - and did he make Iowa's "classical bucket list"? Tune in Sunday afternoon to find out!
Credit wikipedia

Recently I invited you to vote for the 3 classical works you wish everyone could experience at least once - the "Musts" you'd urge your friends to put on their bucket lists. The votes are in, and you can hear Iowa's Top 10 picks on my show Sunday from noon to 4 PM.  I'll tell you what won, and of course I'll play samples from outstanding recordings. (Later I'll post the list with links and information.) Join me - as you'll hear, Iowa's recommendations are awesome!

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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!

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more
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:

Read more
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?

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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!

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages