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. Another topic he has written about is Iowa, for The Atlantic (and for Iowa Public Radio!).

Ways to Connect

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.

Dennis Callahan

Last year,  Jeremy Denk won a MacArthur "Genius" fellowship, published a memoir in the New Yorker, signed a contract with Random House to expand that article into a book,  and - oh, yes - won a place on IPR's "Favorite Classical CDs of 2013" list for his recording of Bach's "Goldberg Variations." All of this makes us eager to hear him play one of Mozart's most celebrated piano concertos, no. 25 in C major.

The wcfsymphony took risks in this year's season opener - and they worked! Hear the result as conductor Jason Weinberger solos on clarinet in Steve Reich’s pulsating New York Counterpoint, Iowa-born pianist Conor Hanick plays John Adams’ Century Rolls, and the orchestra rocks Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory and Ravel’s Bolero. Hear the concert Monday at 7PM on Symphonies of Iowa, hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Anthony Minghella, after directing "The English Patient" and "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," turned his talents to Puccini's "Madame Butterfly"  - that "cross-cultural tragedy" of "devotion and irresponsibility and misunderstandings willful and innocent." Few operas are as difficult to bring off and Minghella's spare production made it "take wing." Hear it from the Met today at noon.

Andy Doe, properdiscord.com

Why Charles Rosen quipped that "the death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition" (we'll see that it goes back to 1324), and why the latest "faux-cool journalese" obit is as silly as previous ones. 

94 Years After Death, Maud Powell Wins Grammy

Jan 26, 2014
Maud Powell Society

This year at the Grammy Awards, Lifetime Achievement awards are going to bands like The Beatles and The Isley Brothers — long overdue, you could say. But they look like young punks next to another Lifetime Achievement recipient: Maud Powell.

Courtesy the artist

Join us tonight at 7 PM as Joseph Giunta begins his 25th season leading the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra with an all-Russian program. It features his favorite post-Romantic symphony - Rachmaninov's Second- plus the return to Des Moines of  Ilya Yakushev, a prize-winning Russian pianist, who plays Prokofiev's scintillating Third Concerto. The broadcast is part of our Symphonies of Iowa series, produced and hosted by Jacqueline Halbloom.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Flu kept Russian mega-diva Anna Netrebko from opening the Met's "Elixir of Love" earlier this month - but she's back, and, says the New York Times, she's "right in the zone, singing with plushness, brilliance and spontaneity. She truly inhabited the role of Adina." And Netrebko's ex, bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, "stole every scene he was in" as the quack doctor who tries to peddle snake oil in her little town.

Join us at noon for a live sneak preview of Opal, by Iowa’s own Robert Lindsey-Nassif - who has composed eight new songs  for his acclaimed musical and re-orchestrated it for its Midwest premiere (at CSPS in Cedar Rapids). Jacqueline Halbloom will host Robert and members of the cast; they'll perform selections and tell us more about the story of Opal Whitely, who was orphaned in a shipwreck and raised in an Oregon lumber camp, and grew up to be a well-known nature writer.

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

Join us Sunday to hear Bizet's Carmen in the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's new production live from the Paramount. Iowa native Janara Kellerman sings the title role of the gypsy seductress, Alok Kumar plays the love-struck Don José, and baritone Philip Torre appears as the toreador Escamillo. Music director Daniel Kleinknecht conducts Orchestra Iowa, and Jacqueline Halbloom hosts this live Performance Iowa special. 

Felix Broede via Deutsche Grammophon

Tune in at 5 PM Tuesday to hear the pianist everyone is talking about playing Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven - and to learn how to pronounce his name! Rafal Blechacz (who won all five first prizes at the International Chopin Competion in 2005) was just named the 2014 Gilmore Artist. What's unique about this $300,000 award, given every four years, is that recipients don't even know they are under consideration until they win. Also, in the second hour of PT, hear Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform Beethoven's Second Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Join us Saturday at noon to hear the Met production everyone's talking about: a Klimt-inspired update of Johann Strauss Jr.'s screwball farce "Die Fledermaus." A new English translation features jokey rhymes and topical swipes, and Broadway's Danny Burstein brings on the shtick as Frosch, the tipsy jailer. This being the Met, you can count on glorious voices and, from the orchestra, a "honeyed tone" (New York Times).

Saverio Truglia from pacificaquartet.com

If you haven't discovered our Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center broadcast Saturdays at 1oAM, you might want to check out this week's broadcast of Czech masters. First, the pioneering Bohemian Bedrich Smetana is represented by his Piano Trio- written in memory of his eldest daughter - played by acclaimed violinist Cho-Liang Lin and husband and wife David Finckel and Wu Han. Then the adventurous Moravian Leos Janacek is represented by his Second String Quartet - his "manifesto on love" - performed by one of the world's foremost string quartets, the Pacifica.

first chair promo

Join us Thursday at 7PM as Esa-Pekka Salonen - the Finn who resigned as conductor of the LA Philharmonic so he could get back to composing - leads the New York Philharmonic in Ravel's Mother Goose, the Sibelius Fifth Symphony, and Salonen's own Violin Concerto. The soloist is MacArthur "genius" Leila Josefowicz, who premiered the work in LA. The Sibelius, said the New York Times, was "revelatory" and the Salonen? It was "inspired." Hear it for yourself!

Uwe Arens courtesy Universal Music Group

Join us Wednesday at 7PM as Julia Fischer - a great violinist and superb pianist - shows yet another skill, conducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in Richard Strauss's profound Metamorphosen and Arnold Schoenberg's Transfigured Night. Oh, yes - she also plays the violin, soloing in the first violin concertos of both Bach and Mozart, and in some Paganini solo caprices.

Matthew Murphy from imaniwinds.com

Join Fred Child Tuesday at 6PM as the ever-innovate Imani Winds come into the studio to perform a work by member Valerie Coleman, "Red Clay and Mississippi Delta," as well as music by Wayne Shorter and Jason Moran.  There's also some terrific Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and more!

Orchestra Iowa

Tune in Monday at 7PM to hear a musical high point of 2013: Orchestra Iowa's world premiere of "American Gothic," which it commissioned from composer Michael Daugherty. A Cedar Rapids native who has won international fame and multiple Grammy awards, Daugherty took his inspiration from the art of another Cedar Rapids native, Grant Wood. Orchestra Iowa is just now releasing a CD of the work, but you can re-audition the concert premiere on this Symphonies of Iowa rebroadcast, which also includes the Dvorak 7th Symphony and Rachmaninoff's The Rock. 

Harald Hoffman/ Deutsche Grammophon courtesy Askonia Holts

Join us at 2PM for our weekly broadcast from Austria's Salzburg Festival. Today's artists are the Simon Bolivar Quartet - an internationally renowned product of "El Sistema," the Venezuelan charity that uses classical-music training to "rescue young people in extremely impoverished circumstances." On the program is Ravel's gentle String Quartet, Shostakovich's powerful Eighth Quartet, and more - including some encore Mozart from pianist Alfred Brendel.

Lyric Stage Company, Dallas, TX

Join host Jacqueline Halbloom for this month's Iowa Arts Showcase at 11Am or 5PM. Her guests include Iowa native Robert Lindsay-Nassif, speaking about his acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, Opal, to be produced this month in Cedar Rapids.

Music of the Baroque

Tune in Saturday at noon as Julie Taymor's innovative production of "The Magic Flute" returns to the Met - conducted by master Mozartian Jane Glover in her Met debut. (She is only the third woman to conduct there.)

LA Philharmonic

Join us tonight at 7 as our  weekly Chicago Symphony Orchestra broadcast moves to a new time: Friday night. We're starting with an exceptional concert: the noted Finnish composer /conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen leads what may be our greatest orchestra (the CSO) in what may be the greatest symphony (the 7th) written by Salonen's greatest compatriot (Sibelius). Also, Yo-Yo Ma joins for the Cello Concerto by the great Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski, with whom Salonen worked closely for decades.

Dario Acosta, from Thomashampson.com

Join us Thursday at 7PM as the New York Philharmonic performs Appalachian Spring and An American in Paris, and baritone Thomas Hampson sings Copland's Old American Songs - and selections from Broadway musicals.

Julian Bullitt c/o Boston Baroque

Continue New Year's festivities at 2PM on IPR Classical with Boston Baroque's annual Bach New Year concert from Cambridge, MA. The music this year includes the Brandenburg Concertos no. 3 and 4, plus the lovely Wedding Cantata and the delightful Coffee Cantata. (Spoiler alert: the father relents and gives his daughter permission to drink this radical new beverage!) Martin Pearlman conducts the ensemble he founded 40 years ago.

Tune in now for Iowa Public Radio’s special New Year's broadcast of FRANKENBOY!  from the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. This children's work by  Iowa composer Robert Lindsey-Nassif tells the story of Melvin Frankenstein and his first day at Transylvania Middle School. It delights children while teaching them about avoiding bullying and tolerating diversity.

Terry Linke, c/o Vienna Philharmonic

Start 2014 with the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's Day concert, broadcast live from Vienna at 10AM. This year, the orchestra has invited Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli conductor and pianist, to lead their festival of waltzes, polkas, and other Viennese delights. At noon, stay tuned for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre performing Robert Lindsey-Nassif's marvelous new children's opera Frankenboy (the story of Melvin Frankenstein and his first day at Transylvania Middle School), and then at 2PM, join us to hear the Boston Baroque and Martin Pearlman in a New Year's Day Bach concert.

For a New Year's Eve change of pace, join us at 4PM for "A Season's Griot," public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson hosts this annual one-hour celebration of the tales and traditions of African-American and African peoples. Then, at 7PM tune in for Paul Winter's annual Winter Solstice celebration concert from New York City.

c Simon Fowler, courtesy Harrison-Parrott

Join us Sunday at 2PM to hear Susanna Mälkki, the Finnish conductor who recently became the first woman ever to conduct at La Scala (they are inviting her back), in what critics called "easily the most impressive" Chicago Symphony debut of recent seasons. She conducts Debussy's La Mer (a specialty of hers), music for Shakespeare's The Tempest by her countryman Sibelius,  and .…but all shall be well  by the noted English composer Thomas Adès. And MacArthur "genius" Leila Josefowicz joins as soloist in Stravinsky's Violin Concerto.

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Join us at noon for a live broadcast of "Tosca" from the Met. The production was booed when it premiered in 2011, but reworking has turned it into a success - largely because of Sondra Radvanovsky, whose "luminous performance breathed life" into the production, according to the New York Times. It called her Floria Tosca a "multidimensional, fiercely individual portrayal, grounded in her voice [which is] elegant and blooming." It also praised conductor Marco Armiliato for "shaping a dramatically animated and expressive performance."

St. Olaf College

If you missed this year's St. Olaf Christmas concert, it was so good that we're reprising it Friday at 7 PM - join us! The LA Philharmonic, usually heard at this time, will be moving to a new weekly slot: check this space as we announce it as well as some exciting new programs starting in January!

wikipedia

Join us Thursday at 7PM as the New York Philharmonic performs two masterpieces of Benjamin Britten to honor his centennial. In both works, Britten took his texts from great English poets: Tennyson, Keats, Blake and others in the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, and Milton, Blake, Spenser, Auden among others in the Spring Symphony. Alan Gilbert conducts, and the soloists include soprano Kate Royal and tenor Paul Appleby (fresh from his success at the Met in Nico Muhly's Two Boys).

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