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Barry Sharp



Described as reaching “incredible levels of volume and violence” and as “bold and blistering” (Rising:  Contemporary Music at UI), composer Barry Sharp engages with music as an expressive, philosophical, and symbolic force to create atmospheres of sound resting between fragility and intensity. His work places experimentation, collaboration, and improvisation at the core of the artistic process.

Performances of Barry’s compositions have taken place in the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, and Thailand by performers such as sTem, the JACK Quartet, Khemia Ensemble, the Princeton Singers, OSSIA Ensemble, Ithaca New Music Collective, Cornell Chamber Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Singers, Webster County High School, and the MSU Brass Band. He was the recipient of a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Cornell Council for the Arts Grants, a semi-finalist in the 2016 American Prize for Choral Music, and has been selected to participate in festivals such as June in Buffalo, New Music on the Point, and the Lehigh Choral Composers Forum.

Barry’s music is often collaborative. His work in collaboration with an architect, Hear Me, received a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts for the 2016-2017 biennial. He collaborated in 2014 with poets, dancers, light designers, and three other composers to create a fifty-minute production addressing war trauma and the human state entitled “No Armistice.” The same team also created installations for Liz Lerman’s Worth Fighting For Pop-up museum. Current projects include a percussion trio for the University of Kansas percussion, an opera with poet Vincent Hiscock, and a large scale piece for clarinet and dancers with Eric Umble (from sTem).

Barry is currently pursuing a doctorate at Cornell University studying with Kevin Ernste, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, and Roberto Sierra in addition to holding degrees from Murray State University (BM) and the University of Iowa (MA). More at