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!).

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Tune in tonight at 7 as Carter Brey - one of America's great cellists - scales the twin peaks of the cello repertory, the Dvorak Cello Concerto and the Bach Cello Suites. He performs the Dvorak with the New York Philharmonic, which he joined as principal cello in 1996 after a very successful solo career. Then, with a Baroque bow and gut strings, he plays the first two of Bach's solo cello suites.

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Every evening from 5 to 7 this week on Performance Today, you can hear what's happening at this year's Aspen Music Festival. Featured artists include established greats like guitarist Sharon Isbin and violinist Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg as well as admired newcomers like violinists Ray Chen and Stefan Jackiw. Tune in to sample the music they're making this week in the Rockies!

Tune in tonight at 7 to hear the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vanska perform Britten's Four Sea Pictures from Peter Grimes, Debussy's La Mer, and with Midori  - one of the world's foremost violinists - the concerto by Vanska's great compatriot Sibelius. This SymphonyCast concert broadcast also includes Debussy's L'Isle joyeuse ("The Joyful Island") and Clare de Lune, and the last two movements of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.


Tune in Monday at 7PM to hear music of Bach and sons performed by the Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players.  Violist Lisa Ponton & harpsichordist Miko Kominami perform a sonata by Bach’s eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann; flutist Jane Walker & violinist Karla Galva play a duet by son #2, Carl Philipp Emanuel; then cellist Carey Bostian & oboist David Hempel join the others for a quintet by Bach’s youngest, Johann Christian (known in the Bach household as "Christel").

Cincinatti Public Radio

Join host Suzanne Bona every Sunday morning from 8 to noon for a feast of Baroque music. She'll begin this week with Bach (and later on play his Cantata no. 147), make varied stops in Italy, Austria, Spain, France, and England (with special attention to Thomas Tallis), and end with an hour of music by composers born or resident in Scotland. Suzanne, who's also an accomplished flute player, brings you the best in music and performances every week.

Robert Millard, courtesy of LA Opera

Tune in at noon for LA Opera's production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman." The legend of a ghostly ship condemned to wander the oceans forever is made vivid by Wagner's enthralling music. The result is a thrilling journey into a mythic world where a tormented spirit seeks true love as his redemption. James Conlon, a noted Wagnerian, conducts, and Icelandic baritone Tomas Tomasson sings the cursed mariner.

University of Iowa

Tune in Saturday at 7AM or Sunday at 6PM to hear two irresistible works from 20th-Century Russia performed by the U of Iowa Symphony led by William LaRue Jones.

Roger Mastroianni

"These are pieces we really wanted to play." That's the unifying theme for the New York Philharmonic's CONTACT! new music series, given at the Metropolitan Museum, and you can hear the latest concert Thursday at 7 PM. The young American conductor Jayce Ogren leads the world premieres of two Philharmonic commissions, Andy Akiho’s Oscillate and Jude Vaclavik’s SHOCK WAVES, as well as the New York premiere of Andrew Norman’s Try. Then,music director Alan Gilbert leads the U.S.

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Join us Wednesday at 7PM to hear what the Telegraph called "a performance of cosmic impact" by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra led by Mariss Jansons.

Dror Biran

Tune in Monday at 7PM to hear the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony in concert. Dror Biran - "one of Israel's most admired and gifted pianists" - performs Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Before that, Jason Weinberger conducts the orchestra in Kodaly's Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, also called the Peacock Variations because its theme is the Hungarian folk song Fly, Peacock Fly.

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Tune in Sunday at 2pm to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and music director Riccardo Muti perform Mozart's Symphony no 25 and Anton Bruckner's noble Symphony no. 6. CSO concertmaster Robert Chen begins the concert with Paganini's First Violin Concerto.

LA Opera

Tune in today at noon to experience "the pleasures of four glorious voices singing Puccini’s heartbreaking, passionate melodies" (Opera News) in the LA Opera's Madame Butterfly. LA Opera music director James Conlon says, "Puccini’s fascination with 'Woman in Love' was the alpha and omega of his life’s work," and Butterfly is a particularly moving example. Cio-Cio San is sung by Ukranian soprano Oksana Dyko, Pinkerton by Brandon Jovanovich, and the result is (says Variety) "big and often vocally spectacular."

Geoffrey Hacker

Join host Jacqueline Halbloom for August's "Iowa Arts Showcase." She speaks to Brooke Joyce, composer-in-residence at Luther College, about the new outdoor installation/symphony "Talking Trees," which he and Harvey Sollberger created from the sounds of birds chirping, frogs croaking, and the wind in the grass.

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Join us Friday at 7PM to hear Itzhak Perlman conduct the San Francisco Symphony in Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"  (he  also plays the violin solos) and in Mozart's great "Prague" Symphony, no. 38 in D major.  The concert continues with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Tchaikovsky's powerful Fourth Symphony and Berlioz's  colorful "Roman Carnival" Overture.

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Join us Friday at 7PM to hear Itzhak Perlman conduct the San Francisco Symphony in Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"  (he  also plays the violin solos) and in Mozart's great "Prague" Symphony, no. 38 in D major.  The concert continues with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Tchaikovsky's powerful Fourth Symphony and Berlioz's  colorful "Roman Carnival" Overture.

Tune in this morning at 10AM for the first in a series of broadcasts from the Spoleto Chamber Music Festival, one of America's leading music events. Our first episode features the St. Lawrence String Quartet (one of the world's finest) playing a pinnacle of the repertory - Haydn's op. 76 no 2 - as well as the noted American violinist Livia Sohn and Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, who join the St. Lawrence in Chausson's Concerto for Violin, Piano, & String Quartet.


Tune in tonight at 7  as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director Gustavo Dudamel tread where few orchestras dare: they perform a Bach cantata ("Eternity, O Word of Thunder," BWV 60). Also on the program is Felix Mendelssohn's Bach-inspired "Reformation" Symphony, Moravian composer Leos Janacek's Sinfonietta, and Mozart's Violin Concerto no. 3,with soloist Martin Chalfour.

Dan Steinberg for LA Opera

Tune in Saturday at 12 noon to hear the LA Opera's production of Franz Schrecker's "The Stigmatized" - an opera that caused a sensation at its 1918 premiere, but was later banned by the Third Reich and has rarely been revived. The music of Schrecker is a personal cause of LA Opera's conductor James Conlon; Saturday he gives us a rare chance to hear Schrecker's opera in performance.


Tune in Friday at 3 PM to hear Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Over the past two months Barney Sherman has cycled through notable recent recordings of the other eight, led by conductors Osmo Vanska, Jos van Immerseel, Andrew Manze, Joshua Bell, Paavo Jarvi, Ivan Fischer, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  Whose Ninth will complete the cycle? Hint: it will be very different from the others. Join us at around 3 PM to hear it!


Tune in every Saturday from 8 am to 10 AM for Concierto, hosted by Frank Dominguez in both Spanish and English. Frank pays special attention to the contributions of Latin-American and Spanish composers as well as to performances of core repertory by great musicians of Hispanic origin, such as Claudio Arrau, Martha Argerich, and Gustavo Dudamel. This week's show includes music of Smetana and Schubert  as well as Sojo, Blasco, Soler, and more, performed by a number of musicians including Daniel Barenboim and Mirian Conti.

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Tune in tonight at 7 to hear just how amazingly Chinese superstar Lang Lang is playing these days - he's no longer a wunderkind, but a major artist. Also, the young Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel and his Los Angeles Philharmonic perform two great symphonies. The broadcast begins with Lang performing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 1; then Dudamel conducts Carl Nielsen's Fourth (the "Inextinguishable") and Robert Schumann's Third (the "Rhenish"). The broadcast comes to us via SymphonyCast.

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Tune in tonight at 7  to hear the Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players perform Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, Beethoven's String Trio in C Minor, and a work by Cedar Rapids-born composer Michael Daugherty, Diamonds in the Rough.  The performances, recorded at the inauguration of the Opus Concert Cafe in Cedar Rapids, feature Anita Tucker and Samuel Rudy on the violins, Lisa Ponton on viola, Cary Bostian on cello, Christine Bellomy on clarinet, and Tom Mackey on percussion. The concert is an IPR re-broadcast.

Robert Millard, courtesy of LA Opera

Plácido Domingo stars as a head of state desperate to protect his son - and himself - from ruthless enemies, as the LA Opera return to IPR with Verdi's "The Two Foscaris." The languid canals and boisterous festivals of 15th-century Venice conceal a deadly web of secret plots and vindictive rivalries. Caught up in forces beyond their control, the father and son struggle to reclaim honor in a city without mercy. The strong cast also includes Francesco Meli and Marina Poplavskaya.


Every four years the International Tchaikovsky Competition considers giving a pianist its First Prize. Some years it just doesn't. But in 2011 it gave Daniel Trifonov not only a First for piano, but also its overall Gold Medal. (He also took first at the Rubinstein Competition in Israel.) Hear him perform Prokofiev's marvelous Third Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic on Thurday night's concert broadcast. The orchestra also performs Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade under music director Alan Gilbert.


Tune in Wednesday at 7 PM to hear Dvorak's "New World" Symphony as conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini, Sir Colin Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and then Mariss Jansons with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Dvorak wrote the work in 1893 in the city once known as "New Amsterdam" - New York; the photograph shows him arriving there with his family.

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Join us Tuesday at 7 PM as the Royal Concertgebouw, led by Pierre Boulez, performs Mahler's 7th Symphony in concert. The orchestra gave the work's second performance under Mahler's baton in 1909; Boulez is one of its noted interpreters. Mahler wrote the work, sometimes called "The Song of the Night," in his composition hut in the Austrian alps (pictured). Also on this SymphonyCast broadcast are Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra.

Casey Turner

Tune in Monday at 7 PM to hear the 75th Season inaugural concert of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. Featured is a new work based on the art in Des Moines' Pappajohn Sculpture Park, written by Emmy Award-winning composer Steve Heitzig. Also on the program are Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Wagner’s Lohengrin preludes, and music from the score Erich Wolfgang Korngold wrote for the film Captain Blood. Music Director Joseph Giunta conducts.

Dan Rest, courtesy Lyric Opera of Chicago

The waving wheat will sure sound sweet when the Lyric Opera of Chicago performs Oklahoma! Saturday at noon. One critic calls the production "a joyous revelation, establishing beyond a doubt that Oklahoma! deserves this sort of stature and venue....  the score is is rich and lovely in its deceptively simple, thoroughly American-bred melodies. The beauty of the voices singing them is soon foretold when John Cudia begins 'Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’' in a baritone that one can’t get enough of...." Hear it for yourself on IPR Classical!

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Why is Yo-Yo Ma pointing to his recital buddy, Emmanuel Ax? Find out why Ax is IT this afternoon when Barney Sherman plays his new recording of Schumann's Symphonic Etudes, and again at 7PM, when Ax performs a Haydn concerto with the New York Philharmonic. As you'll hear, no pianist plays Schumann and Haydn better. Also on the New York Philharmonic program: Christopher Rouse's Symphony no. 3 (his take on Prokofiev), and music director Alan Gilbert's symphonic synthesis of music from Wagner's Ring Cycle.

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Bach, Mozart, Beethoven - each wrote a concerto for three instruments, and you can hear all three in outstanding performances on Barney Sherman's program Wednesday afternoon. Bach's Triple Concerto is for flute, violin, and harpsichord; Mozart's is for three pianos (and naturally, the three pianists you'll hear are all giants in their own right); and Beethoven's is for violin, cello, and piano. You'll hear Beethoven's Triple Concerto in a live concert recording led by Claudio Abbado, pictured.