Barry Sharp

Composer and Musician

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Barry Sharp seeks to create an environment of inclusion and experimentation through new dynamics between performers, composers, and audiences. His works often develop out of a specific sound world from which he sculpts a landscape of harmonic, melodic, and textural ideas. He is interested in how musical experiences vary between performers and listeners, given the way these landscapes are constructed and executed versus how they are perceived. Barry has worked with ensembles such as Duo Helix, Amalgama, sTem, JACK Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Bienen Early/Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, [Switch~ Ensemble], Arditti Quartet, the Princeton Singers, OSSIA Ensemble, Un/Pitched, Ithaca New Music Collective, Cornell Orchestras, and the Cornell Chamber Singers.


Barry enjoys collaborations with musicians as well as artists of different backgrounds. He performs with composer Sergio Cote in the experimental duo etc, [ee-tea-see]. Their sound-based-experimental-performance-art involves creating pieces through an experimental, rebellious, and democratic approach to sound. As composer-in-residence with the New York–based Duo Helix, Eric Umble (clarinet) and Izzy Lepanto-Gleicher (flute), he is authoring an ongoing project, Song Sessions, that derives compositional frameworks from the songs of humpback whales. New Music USA awarded the project a grant to be premiered in winter 2019. Another recent project, Hear me, grew out of an exchange with architect Min Keun Park, the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, and Chris Kim (conductor). The project received a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts for the 2016-2017 biennial. In 2014, Barry collaborated with poets, dancers, light designers, and other composers to create a fifty-minute production addressing war trauma entitled No Armistice. Projects he is currently working on include an opera with librettist Vincent Hiscock and director Ellen Jackson, a new work for vibraphone and sine tones with percussionist Lindsey Eastham, and a self-recorded album entitled Notes on instruments.

Barry received his D.M.A. in composition from Cornell University where he studied with Kevin Ernste, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, and Roberto Sierra. He also holds degrees in music from Murray State University (B.M.) and the University of Iowa (M.A.).