A native of New York, Barbara Yahr’s career has spanned from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Ms. Yahr is currently in her seventeenth season as Music Director of the Greenwich Village Orchestra where she continues to lead the orchestra to new levels of distinction. With blockbuster programming and internationally renowned guest artists, the GVO has grown into an innovative, collaborative institution offering a full season of classical music to the community in lower Manhattan.
Her previous posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra, Resident Staff Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazel and Music Director and Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as a guest conductor with such orchestras as the Bayerische Rundfunk, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Frankfurt Radio, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Janacek Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington D.C. She has conducted the orchestras in Anchorage, Calgary, Charleston, Chattanooga, Columbus, Detroit, Erie, Flint, Louisiana, Lubbock, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Tulsa, Tuscaloosa, Queens, NY as well as the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Chautauqua Festival Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared in Israel conducting in both Jerusalem and Elat.
As an opera conductor, she has appeared and led new productions in Frankfurt, Giessen, Hannover, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and at The Mannes School of Music in NYC. She has coached the actors on the set of the Amazon Series, Mozart in the Jungle, and has presented her work with orchestras and the special needs communities at the last two Conductors’ Guild National Conferences.
Ms. Yahr is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College where she studied piano and philosophy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music studying with conductor and scholar, Max Rudolf and an MM in Music Theory from the Manhattan School of Music. She was also student of Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine.
Ms. Yahr’s commitment to finding new ways to reach a broader population with music ultimately led her into the field of music therapy. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist, with an MA in Music Therapy from NYU and post-graduate certification from the world-renowned Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy in New York City. Her pioneering, community music therapy project, Together in Music, brings orchestral music to the special needs community with uniquely interactive programs.
Ms. Yahr has two adult step-children and lives in Chappaqua, NY with her husband Alexander Lerman, a psychiatrist and 16 year-old son, Ben Lerman, who is a violinist.