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.

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Classical
10:37 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Netrebko, Calleja Shine in Lyric's Boheme

Joseph Lim, Andrea Silvestrelli, Joseph Calleja, Anna Netrebko, and Lucas Meachem in “La Boheme" at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Credit Dan Rest, via Lyric Opera of Chicago

Anna Netrebko as Mimi, Joseph Calleja as Rodolfo,  Elizabeth Futral as Musetta -  you can't find a better cast for La Boheme today than the one we'll broadcast Saturday at noon from Lyric Opera of Chicago. Critic Lawrence Johnson praised  Netrebko's "gleaming vocalism, dramatic acuity, and personality-plus stage charisma," and found Calleja to be "on an equally inspired level."

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Classical
9:24 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Marsalis and NY Phil Thursday at 7 PM

Wynton Marsalis at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) Seventh Annual Jazz Festival in West Orange, NJ
Credit public domain/ wikipedia

Tune in Thursday to hear the New York Philharmonic perform Copland, Stravinsky, Shostakovich - and Marsalis. Jazz-influenced works by Aaron (the  Clarinet Concerto), Igor (Ragtime) and Dmitri (Tahiti Trot) precede the Symphony no. 3 (Swing Symphony) by Wynton, who brings his Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra along to join Alan Gilbert and the orchestra.

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Classical
8:43 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Sudbin, Vanska rock Beethoven, Sibelius

Russian pianist Yegveny Sudbin
Credit Clive Barda, courtesy of yevgenysudbin.com

Tune in tonight at 7PM to hear Yevgeny Sudbin - at 32 "hailed as potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century"- perform Beethoven's Third Concerto with musicians famed for Beethoven, the Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vanska. Then Vanska conducts a work he's famed for, the Second Symphony of his fellow Finn, Jean Sibelius. Opening this concert is a new work by American composer Aaron Jay Kernis. The concert comes to us via SymphonyCast.

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Classical
2:37 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Holst's "Planets" Reimagined by WCFSO

Our solar system
Credit zen at flickr.com

Tune in Sunday at noon or Monday at 7 PM to hear the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and Jason Weinberger in "The Planets Reimagined" - Holst's masterpiece along with a new rendering by artist Garry Kelley. The concert was recorded on April 27 as part of IPR's Symphonies of Iowa series.

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Classical
7:18 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

OperaX2 Saturday: Elektra, Hansel&Gretel

Maria Kanyova and Elizabeth DeShong as Hansel and Gretel in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production
Credit Dan Rest, via Lyric Opera of Chicago

Unhappy childhoods are each unhappy in their own way. For Hansel and Gretel, things look grim but turn out sweet; for Elektra... not so much. Hear both stories in great German operas this Saturday from the Lyric Opera of Chicago: Richard Strauss's Elektra, with Christine Goerke in the title role, and Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, with Elizabeth DeShong and Maria Kanyova as the siblings and Jill Grove as the witch.

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Classical
7:05 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Andras Schiff Leads NY Phil Bachfest

The Hungarian pianist/conductor Andras Schiff
Credit Steve Bowbrick via flickr.com

Tune in tonight at 7 as Andras Schiff - one of the world's supreme Bach interpreters - leads the final concert in the "Bach Variations" Festival of the New York Philharmonic. The Hungarian pianist/ conductor (a winner of the prestigious Bach Prize) leads two of the Bach keyboard concertos from the piano, and also conducts Mendelssohn's String Symphony no. 9 and Schumann's Symphony no. 4. 

  

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Classical
9:58 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Brahms that Even Wagner Liked, Weds. PM

The as-yet-beardless Johannes Brahms in 1853.
Credit wikipedia

"I could tell he was no joker," wrote Wagner about the young Brahms playing the Handel Variations for him. For Wagner speaking of a rival, that was high praise, and for the rest of us, the work sounds outright amazing. Hear an inspired performance of the Handel Variations Wednesday afternoon on Barney Sherman's show. Also on the program: an ethereal evocation of ancient Greece by Debussy.

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Classical
10:49 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Still Funny after All These Years: Haydn

Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in ''Das Rheingold'' by Richard Wagner
Credit wikimedia commons, Reinhard Kraasch

Tune in Tuesday at 5 pm as Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic, in a concert performance of Haydn's Symphony No. 90. Rattle loves all of it - including  the joke at the end, which still gets a laugh when it's done right (and it is!). Also on the program: Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the Concertgebouw in Mozart's "Haffner" Symphony. Earlier, on Barney Sherman's program, Ivan Fischer conducts Beethoven's 7th and Richard Goode plays Mozart's 27th Piano Concerto.

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Classical
3:15 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Carmina Burana from Des Moines, Drake

The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Drake Choir, and Drake University/Community Chorus performing Carmina Burana.
Credit Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Join us tonight at 7 to hear the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Drake Choir and Drake University/Community Chorus perform Orff's stirring Carmina Burana. Also on the program: Krommer's Concerto for Two Clarinet featuring DMSO's astounding clarinetists, Gregory Oakes & Clarence Padilla. The concert celebrates the 75-year partnership of Drake and the DMSO, which began in 1937 as the Drake/Des Moines Symphony. Music Director Joseph Giunta conducts, and soloists are Carrie Ellen Giunta, soprano, Christopher Pfund, tenor, and Robert Orth, baritone.

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Classical
5:07 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Lyric's "Don Pasquale" Saturday at Noon

Don Pasquale from the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Credit Dan Rest, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Never mind that he's having a late-life crisis: Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" just wants a little respect. Hear this genuinely hilarious comic opera Saturday at noon from the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A stellar cast is headed by  ldebrando D’Arcangelo and Marlis Petersen.

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Classical
5:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Des Moines Musicians' Philip Glass Fest

Pianist Sophia Ahmad, who, when she's not practicing, is Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.
Credit courtesy of Sophia Ahmad

Tune in Saturday at 7AM or Sunday at 6PM to hear a group of Iowa musicians celebrate the 75th birthday of Philip Glass with a concert (part 1 of 2) that conveys the range of his music. Pianist Sophia Ahmad (you might know her as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra) plays the Orphee Suite; pianist Kris DeWild plays Love Divided By; Edwin and Francine Griffith perform Hymn to the Sun (from Akhnaten); saxophonist Colin Young plays Gradus; and The Rex Repeter Quartet plays a movement from his Third String Quartet.

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Classical
8:11 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Isabelle Faust's Brahms & Bach, Thursday

Violinist Isabelle Faust
Credit Ivy Artists.com

She was once called "the greatest violinist you've never heard of" - but since then she' s won many major awards. Hear Isabelle Faust play the Brahms Concerto on Barney Sherman's show in the afternoon, and then the two Bach violin concertos on the New York Philharmonic broadcast at 7 pm. Discover why the New York Times says, "her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music's hidden strains of lyricism."

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Classical
9:31 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Rite of Spring 100th Today

Igor Stravinsky, sketched by his friend and collaborator Pablo Picasso
Credit public domain

Wednesday, May 29 is the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and while it no longer causes riots it still sounds radical, wild, and fresh. Hear it - introduced by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross - in the 6 PM hour of Performance Today.  In the afternoon Barney Sherman will play part of it in the version Stravinsky first published, for piano four hands.

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Classical Music in the Midday
9:59 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Beethoven under the stars

The Tanglewood Festival's music shed
Credit Sébastien Barré at flickr.com

The Boston Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth (Pastoral) Symphonies and third Leonore Overture under the stars at Tanglewood with noted Beethovenian Christoph von Dohnanyi - sound enticing? Tune in Tuesday at 7 pm to hear it on SymphonyCast on IPRClassical.

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Classical
5:31 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Orchestra Iowa Chamber Tonight @7

Credit Orchestra Iowa

Tune in tonight at 7PM as the Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players perform Beethoven’s Variations on Mozart's "La ci darem la mano” ; Ibert’s  Five Pieces for Trio; Halvorsen’s Passacaglia and Sarabande with variations on a theme by Handel; Prokofiev’s spirited Piano Quintet in g minor; and Vanhal’s Divertimento in G Major.

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Classical
2:34 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

ISU Mendelssohn (&"Godzilla Eats Las Vegas")

American composer Eric Whitacre
Credit Christoph Müller-Girod from flickr.com

Tune in Saturday at 7AM or Sunday at 6PM to hear the ISU Wind Ensemble led by Michael Golemo playing Mendelssohn's Overture for Winds and three modern works for the ensemble - including Eric Whitacre's riotous "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas." Written when Whitacre  was an undergrad at Juilliard, it has become a modern classic.  Says Whitacre, "The idea that this piece is being played all over the world in serious concert venues is the single funniest thing I have ever heard.

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Classical
9:29 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Lyric's "Werther" Today at Noon

Matthew Polenzani and Sophie Koch in the Lyric Opera's "Werther"
Credit WFMT and Lyric Opera of Chicago

Tenor superstar Matthew Polenzani portrays the smitten poet Werther in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Massenet's opera, based on the Goethe novel that rocked Europe.  Sophie Koch stars as the unfortunate object of his affection, Charlotte.

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Classical
7:49 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

NY Phil Mass in B Minor Thursday

The first page of the Credo section of Bach's Mass in B minor. Scholars believe that parts of this section were Bach's last major original compositions, written in the last year of his life.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The New York Philharmonic's "Bach Variations" festival continues at 7 PM Thursday with the Mass in B Minor - Bach's "most spectacular choral work," as the scholar and conductor John Butt calls it.

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Classical
9:50 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Wagner's 200th with Barney, PT & Bill

Richard Wagner in a portrait by an ardent Wagnerian, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Today is the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner. Performance Today at 5 will be almost all Wagner; Barney Sherman from 1-5 will play just a little of his music, but will also feature music by composers who respond, in some way, to or against Wagner: Debussy (a recording of him playing his own "Children's Corner"), Faure, John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, and a movement by Bruckner. We'll also sample a new recording of one of the works that most influenced Wagner, Beethoven's 9th. (And for more, Bill McGlaughlin continues his week-long series on Wagner at 9 PM.)

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Classical
9:55 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Wagner 200th on PT, McGlaughlin

The Bayreuth Festival House, built by Wagner for performing his Ring Cycle and funded largely by his patron Ludwig II of Bavaria (popularly known as "Mad King Ludwig" ).
Credit PercyGermany on Flickr.com

What do we make of the complex legacy of Richard Wagner on the 200th anniversary of his birth, Wednesday? Both Performance Today with Fred Child (5-7 PM) and Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin (9-10 PM) are exploring the question this week with fascinating results. Tune in tonight to PT, for example, to hear Gabriel Faure's "Souvenirs of Bayreuth" - a cheeky quadrille on themes from the Ring Cycle - as well as Wagner in concert by leading performers (among those on PT this week are Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen).

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Classical
7:57 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

WCFSO Bachfest tonight at 7 PM

The dedication and first page of Bach's manuscript of the Brandenburg Concertos
Credit Bach-Archiv Leipzig (bach-digital.de)

"The Heavens Laugh, the Earth Rejoices"  is the title of a Bach cantata and of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony's concert of Easter-related Bach, which you can hear tonight at 7 PM. The Brandenburg Concerto no. 1 is preceded by sinfonias from several cantatas (including "The Heavens Laugh, the Earth Rejoices" BWV 31) and the Easter Oratorio, and by the entirety of the beautiful Cantata 104, "Hear, O Shepherd of Israel" (with the University of Northern Iowa Cantorei and soloists Jeffrey Brich and John Hines). Music Director Jason Weinberger conducts.

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Classical
9:31 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Lyric Season Begins with Boccanegra

The great American baritone Thomas Hampson
Credit Photochiel from Flickr.com

Tune in today at 12 noon for the season's first broadcast from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, featuring Verdi's Simon Boccanegra -  "essentially a heartwarming story about a compassionate political leader... who is reunited with his lost daughter...and makes peace with two political enemies" (as the New York Times summarizes the plot). The renowned American baritone Thomas Hampson heads the stellar cast.

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Classical
3:29 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Suzuki Kicks off NY Phil Bach Festival

Masaaki Suzuki
Credit Marco Borggreve (from Indiana Public Media)

Tune in Thursday at 7 PM as Masaaki Suzuki - one of the world's most renowned Bach interpreters - kicks off the New York Philharmonic's month-long Bach Festival.  The Japanese keyboardist/conductor, one of the few recipients of the Royal College of Music's "Bach Prize," has been recording the complete sacred vocal works, keyboard works, and orchestral works for the prestigious BIS label, to great acclaim. Hear him conduct Bach's Magnificat and motet "Sing to the Lord a New Song" (as well as Felix Mendelssohn's Magnificat and Christus).

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Classical
9:43 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

The Greatest "Great C Major"?

Franz Schubert. Bust by Henry Baerer for the Philadelphia Horticulture Center.
Credit RobertFrancis at Flickr

Join Barney Sherman Tuesday afternoon to hear a strong candidate for "most-inspired recording ever of Schubert's last symphony." Also on the show is a major new recording of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata and a Trio Sonata by .... it's complicated, but you can hear it at 1 PM.

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Classical
4:24 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

DMSO Tchaikovsky 4: Music + Insight

The Des Moines Symphony and Joseph Giunta
Credit Des Moines Symphony's tumblr feed

Join us Monday at 7 PM as the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Joseph Giunta, performs Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. Before the performance is a presentation from the "Beyond the Score" series (co-sponsored with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) taking us into the rich sources of this masterpiece, from Beethoven to ballet to Russian folk song.

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Classical
8:55 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Met "Gotterdammerung" 10 AM Saturday

A scene in Wagner's “Götterdämmerung” with the Norns (Michaela Martens, Elizabeth DeShong, Heidi Melton), from the Metropolitan Opera's current production.
Credit Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Wagner's mighty "Ring" Cycle reaches its finale with "The Twilight of the Gods," broadcast live on IPR starting at 10 AM Saturday. Deborah Voigt is Brünnhilde - "a role she has made her own," according to the New York Times, which also praised conductor Fabio Luisi, for drawing "a muscular, passionate, but never hurried performance from the orchestra."

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Classical
10:08 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Ax Hits the Spot in Beethoven, Mozart

Pianist Emanuel Ax.
Credit Lisa-Marie Mazzucco (from emanuelax.com)

Hear great piano playing from Emanuel Ax today on IPR. This afternoon, Barney Sherman broadcasts Ax's powerful new recording of Beethoven's "Eroica Variations," and tonight the New York Philharmonic (where Ax is artist-in-residence) features him in Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 25, a work that was a major inspiration for Beethoven.  Ax, a Polish-born American, is best known as recital partner of Yo-Yo Ma, but if you haven't heard his solo work lately you are in for a treat.

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Classical
8:52 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

More Back-Engineered Bach Thursday

J.S. without his wig: a reconstruction of his face using digital forensic technology and a bronze cast of his skull, by Dr. Caroline Wilkinson of The Centre for Forensic and Medical Art in Dundee, Scotland.
Credit Caroline Wilkinson / Bachhaus Eisenach

Here's what forensic scientists think Bach looked like without his wig. And you can hear what scholars think some of his works sounded like in lost original versions on Barney Sherman's show each afternoon. Thursday's show also includes the "Courtly Dances" from Britten's Gloriana, a powerful new recording of Beethoven, and much more.

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Classical
9:55 am
Tue May 7, 2013

"Back-Engineered Bach" Starts Today

J. S. Bach
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Join IPR's Barney Sherman for four hours of classical music this afternoon starting at 1. Along with music of Poulenc, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and more, Barney will begin a daily series of reconstructions of lost works by J. S. Bach, "Back-engineered Bach." Up today: the Cello Suite no. 4, which may have started life as... well, tune in to hear!

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Classical Music in the Afternoon with Barney Sherman

Could ours be a golden age of classical music? Around the world and around our state, people are writing music that goes straight to the heart, and performing older masterworks with the fluency of people speaking a native tongue. Barney's mission is to make it easy for you to connect to this new era of classical excellence, while providing you with musical companionship you can count on every afternoon.

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