Robert Sherman, WQXR host of classical and folk music shows, dies at 90

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Robert Sherman, WQXR host of classical and folk music shows, dies at 90

“For someone so young, it was a big deal,” he said by phone, adding that he readily accepted being on the radio. “The thing that it allowed me to do, which I latched on to, is it allowed me to read some of the commercials on the show. Every time I came he would let me say, “And now Emmanuel Ax is going to read the following ad.”

Mr. Ax was among the performers at a concert for Mr. Sherman’s 90th birthday last year, which Mr. Sherman himself hosted, along with the violinists Chi-Yoon Kim, Joshua Bell and Annie Kavafian and a string quartet Emerson. Ms. Kim, who also spoke, discussed her first appearance at the Young Artists Showcase when she was a teenager.

“I’ve never spoken on a radio station, not even in Korea,” she said. “And I said to you, ‘I’m so nervous, but it’s a live show – what if I make a mistake?’ And you said to me, do you remember what you said to me, you said, ‘Just talk into the microphone while you’re talking to me and people accidentally they listen. That’s it. It’s just the two of us. And I was like, OK.

Robert Sherman was born on July 23, 1932 in Manhattan. His parents are immigrants: His father, Isak, who runs an import-export business and other companies, is from Ukraine. His mother, Mrs. Reisenberg, was Lithuanian.

She taught Robert to play the piano – with limited success.

“I had some talent for it, and I lacked the discipline to do anything,” Mr. Sherman said in a 2019 interview for the Avery Fisher Artist Program Oral History Project. “Mum always told me, ‘For God’s sake, don’t tell anyone you study with me because you’re not typical of my class.’

He joked that he chose to attend the academically rigorous Stuyvesant High School, where he thought he would be the best pianist, over a performing arts school where he assumed he would be the worst.

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