Pipedream’s Michael Barone to Celebrate 50th Anniversary at Minnesota Public Radio

Aug 15, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 15, 2018 – Michael Barone, host and senior executive producer of Pipedreams, will celebrate his 50th anniversary of employment at Minnesota Public Radio on August 20. Barone has been a constant behind the microphone of the organ music program, which itself is approaching a 35th anniversary as a national program. Pipedreams is the only nationally distributed weekly radio program devoted to pipe organ music.

Following a private celebration with his MPR colleagues and special guests on August 20, Barone will be honored with a public event September 23 at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn. Highlights will include a meet-and-greet at 2 p.m. and performance event at 3 p.m. of varied and colorful music on the largest pipe organ in Minnesota featuring an array of local soloists. A special public reception will follow the performance. The event is free and open to the public. Classical MPR will also hold a celebration of Barone at the MPR State Fair booth August 30 from 1 to 2 p.m.

“While it may have been more common at one time, it’s now nearly unheard of for someone to spend their entire career at one company. Michael’s presence on the air, and his work behind the scenes, has had a tremendous influence in shaping what our audiences know as Classical Minnesota Public Radio,” said Brad Althoff, managing producer of Classical Programs at MPR. “Personally, I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for taking a chance on me when I started at MPR, being a great teacher and valued colleague. MPR is a stronger, better organization because of Michael.”

A member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Barone is instantly recognizable for his voice and signature ponytail, and his knowledge of the Minnesota classical music scene -- particularly of the niche world of organ music and performance -- all of which have made him an invaluable member of the MPR family. Barone joined the staff of St. John’s University Radio as Music Director directly out of college, not realizing that his position would evolve into a lifelong career. By 1970, the station went independent of St. John’s University, moving on its way to becoming today’s MPR, and Barone took the opportunity to launch a weekly program of organ music. The show continued to develop, and in 1982 it became the nationally syndicated Pipedreams listeners know today.

In addition to Pipedreams, Barone’s tenure at MPR has included roles as music director and announcer, as well as producer and host for programs such as The New Releases, the national and local broadcasts of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and, more recently, the annual live Christmas broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College in Cambridge, England.

Barone's talent and commitment have been recognized with numerous awards, including the American Guild of Organists President's Award in 1996, the Distinguished Service Award of the Organ Historical Society in 1997 and the 2001 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Broadcasting.


About Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota Public Radio® operates a 46-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states. Reaching 1 million listeners each week, MPR and its three regional services—MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current®—produce programming for radio, digital and live audiences. Programs produced by MPR’s national programming division, American Public Media®, reach nearly 21 million listeners via more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio that includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programmer in the nation. APM also offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business and investigative journalism. For more information on MPR, visit minnesotapublicradio.org.  For more information on APM, visit americanpublicmedia.org.

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio. Data are estimates only.