Diane Barger

Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Music (Clarinet)
Area of Focus: Woodwind

Praised by critics for her “great virtuosity and flair” and “exquisite artistry”, Diane Barger is the Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Music (Clarinet) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a position she has held since 1994. She received the 2013 Annis Chaikin Sorensen Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities and the 2001 Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Distinguished College Teaching Award at UNL. She is principal clarinet of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and is President of the International Clarinet Association (ICA). She also served the ICA as President elect (2020-2022), Nebraska State Chair (2010-2020), Pedagogy Chair (2016-2018), Artistic Director of the 2012 ClarinetFest®, Treasurer (2004-2010), and Coordinator of the High School Solo Competition (2003-2005). She also serves as NACWPI Nebraska State Chair and is a Buffet Crampon Artist/Clinician, a Légère Endorsing Artist, and a member of the Silverstein Pro Team. In addition to her work as a collegiate educator, Barger actively works with pre-college clarinetists and is involved in mentoring her cadre of clarinet instructors at Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet, LLC where she serves as Founder and Professor of Clarinet. https://www.cornerstoneacademyofclarinet.com/

Barger remains an active soloist and chamber musician, master class clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and abroad. She was a featured artist and lecturer at the 2024 ClarinetFest® (CF®) in Dublin, Ireland, the 2023 (CF®) in Denver, the 2022 (CF®) in Nevada, the 2020 ICA Plays On virtual conference, the 2019 (Tennessee), 2017 (Florida), 2016 (Kansas), 2014 (Louisiana), 2013 (Assisi, Italy), 2012 (Nebraska), 2011 (California), 2010 (Texas), 2009 (Portugal), 2008 (Missouri), 2007 (Canada), 2006 (Georgia), 2005 (Tokyo), 2004 (Washington, D.C.), 2000 (Oklahoma), and 1997 (Texas) ICA ClarinetFests®, and the 2014, 2009, 2002, and 1998 Oklahoma Clarinet Symposiums in Norman, Oklahoma. In June of 2015, Barger taught at the Lift Clarinet Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was the guest artist for the 2020, 2013, 2007, and 2004 Alabama Clarinet Symposium in Birmingham, the 2001 Southern Appalachian Clarinet Retreat in North Carolina, and appeared as soloist with the Northern Arizona University in the spring of 2009 and with the Florida State University in the fall of 2002.

A specialist in the genre of operatic fantasies for clarinet based on Vincenzo Bellini operas, Barger can be heard as a featured soloist on the International Clarinet Association's 1998 Recording Project compact disc in a performance of Domenico Mirco's "La Sonnambula" Fantasia for clarinet and piano. In August 2012, Barger published a CD of works by Scott McAllister entitled BlingBling, as well as 13 editions of Bellini operatic fantasies by various 19th-Century composers, all of which are available through Potenza Music. The Trio 402 (UNL professors Barger, Dr. Mark Clinton, and Dr. Jeff McCray) released a CD titled Conversations Between Friends for clarinet, bassoon, and piano of music by William Hurlstone and Bill Douglas published by Potenza Music (2016).

With the Amicitia Duo, a clarinet duo with Denise Gainey from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Barger toured in Florida, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa and were featured artists at the 2023 European Clarinet Congress in Tilberg and the 2020 Texas Clarinet Colloquium. They have also performed at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests® and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conferences. The duo released their debut CD, Play Pretty, in March 2020 showcasing music written specifically for the Amicitia Duo for E-flat and B-flat clarinet instrumentation (with or without piano). Formed out of friendship, the Amicitia Duo brings music for clarinet to a wide variety of audiences. Amicitia is the Latin word for friendship and is pronounced “ah-mee-KEE-tee-ah”. With a friendship that spans over thirty years, Barger and Gainey combine their love of music and teaching to delight audiences around the world. https://theamicitiaduo.com/

With the Moran Woodwind Quintet, one of the most active and visible quintets in the Midwest, Barger performed for the Omaha Chamber Music Society, the Minden (NE) Opera House, the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra (hosted by Dordt College), and the North Platte (NE) Concert Association in the 2015-16 academic year. The quintet looks forward to performing in Vancouver, Canada this October 2018 as participants in the College Music Society National Conference (CMS) and have given lecture/performances at the 2013 College Music Society (CMS) National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, the 2011 CMS National Conference in Richmond, Virginia, the 2010 CMS National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the 2008 CMS National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2005 CMS International Conference in Alcala de Henaras, Spain, and the 2005 CMS National Conference in Quebec City, Canada. The quintet has also performed at the Grand Valley Music Festival, the North Central Music Educator's National Convention, and at various colleges and universities around the United States. Their 1998 compact disc recording by Crystal Records, "Postcards from the Center," features works by American composers Lieuwen, Murdock, Higdon, and Heiden. Their 2007 and 2004 CD projects features the music of Theodore Blumer and is also available through Crystal Records. With the oboist and bassoonist of the quintet, Barger was a featured guest artist in a recital at the 2004 IDRS convention in Melbourne, Australia. In the most recent years, music by Scott McAllister (OK Quintet) and John Steinmetz (All the Difference) have been commissioned for the Moran Quintet.

Barger received the Doctor of Music (1999) and Bachelor of Music (1988) degrees from the Florida State University where she was a student of Frank Kowalsky. While completing the Graduate Certificate in Performance (1990) and Master of Music (1989) degrees from Northwestern University she was a student of Robert Marcellus. For her doctoral research she was the recipient of the 1996 Faculty Summer Research Fellowship and Grant-in-Aid awarded by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Council. In addition to being a member of the International Clarinet Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the Music Teachers National Association, and Sigma Alpha Iota, Barger served as Chair of the Woodwind Area at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2000-2020.


What do you enjoy the most about being on the faculty at the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Barger: The faculty is outstanding and our students are exceptional. I enjoy being a part of a faculty who admire and support one another in their creative endeavors. I am also blessed to be a member of the Moran Wind Quintet; we rehearse on a weekly basis and perform regularly. My colleagues in the quintet inspire me to be on the top of my game at all times and have taught me so much as a musician.

What do you want others to know about the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Barger: The Glenn Korff School of Music is made up of a faculty and staff who all put the students first. I am proud to be a part of a family who nurture and support each other, as well as inspire the best out of each other and our students.

What are you most proud of in the area you work for the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Barger: As Chair of the Woodwind Area, I am blessed to have colleagues and students who inspire me to be my best on a daily basis. I am proud to work with people who give their all to their profession and to their students. 

What do you like to do outside of the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Barger: Musically, I enjoy serving as principal clarinetist of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and performing and teaching all over the country with my clarinet colleague in my Amicitia Duo. Personally, I enjoy unwinding at home with my cat Fritz Kroepsch (named after the famed composer of “Daily Studies for Clarinet”) and coloring for stress relief/relaxation. I also enjoy reading, going to movies, and spending time with friends.