Sad news: Classical record magazine loses its publisher

Sad news: Classical record magazine loses its publisher


norman lebrecht

February 23, 2015

We are saddened to hear that Barry Irving died last night, after a short illness, aged 69.

Barry was publisher of Gramophone in the boom times. When the magazine was sold to a corporate owner, he founded International Record Review (IRR) which he ran in a manner that he insisted was ‘true to the old Gramophone values, before the dumbing down’. He was an irresistible enthusiast for all things on record.

Barry will be missed by many friends in the record business. Our sympathies to his family.

barry irving


  • bill holland says:

    What a sad day. Barry was a generous and kindly man, and extremely helpful to me over the years, especially when I started out as a novice in the classical music business .He was wise ,always the perfect gentleman, and never the pushy salesman. I trusted his judgement totally and his guidance in the minefield of distinguishing the commercial from the artistic was unerring.
    BILL H

  • says:

    Barry was a wonderful colleague and a loyal friend of many years, always courteous and kind. He will be sadly missed by us all.

  • David Starobin says:

    Over the years, Barry’s dedication to high standards in music and in recording stood out from the pack. He had a great sense of humor and was always a consummate gentleman. Becky and I were lucky to count him as a friend, and will miss him.

  • Matthew Cosgrove says:

    I was very sad to hear of Barry’s death. He was one of the nicest people in the business, helpful and considerate, and he had a wonderful sense of humour, and a great sense of the ridiculous – essential for this business. I will miss his company at the various industry events.

  • Todd Landor says:

    This is a terrible shock, Barry had the widest and most balanced perspective on the classical music recording business. It was a wonder to see the dedication with which he created a magazine from scratch after his departure from Gramophone. Always a joy to do business with, always with a twinkle in his eye, the world of classical recordings will be much the poorer without him and we who were associated will be deeply saddened and miss him acutely.

  • Ivor Humphreys says:

    Terribly sad news and such a shock. Barry was hugely supportive to me in the more than 35 years that our paths intersected. And I know from my times on the staff of Hi-Fi News and later Gramophone that he was peerless — and uniquely gentlemanly — in the frenetic world of audio advertising.

  • John Kehoe says:

    I was shocked and saddened to hear that Barry had died. I only briefly worked with him directly, doing some work for IRR, but I had known him earlier from my years at Decca and Conifer. He was one of the gentlemen of the record industry, affable, scrupulously fair and a thoroughly nice man. He and Maire worked harder than almost any people I know. They have created and sustained IRR as a by-word for the finest standards in music journalism. I hope Barry knew how much he was liked and admired. He’s irreplaceable.

  • J. Martin Stafford / Ismeron says:

    I was very sorry to learn this morning (4 April) of the death of Barry Irving and the consequent demise of International Record Review, to which I had subscribed throughout its existence. I always thought its reviews thorough and fair. IRR was also generous enough to review two of my own releases of reissued material – Robert Still Chamber Works and Songs and Hindemith plays Hindemith (the recordings that he made for RCA in New York in 1939) though I never paid for any advertising. It is a publication that will be greatly missed.

  • Victoria Soames Samek says:

    It is only now on receiving the letter from IRR that I have heard the sad and indeed shocking news of Barry’s death. Always supportive of me as an artist and label owner of Clarinet Classics. Barry was the traditional face of the music and recording world with IRR reporting news, features and ever important for all of us, reviews of our CDs. Barry cared about the music industry and the preservation of music’s traditional values. His personal support of each one of us both in person and on email. He will leave a big gap in our music world and will be sorely missed. Sending my condolences to his family.

  • J. Martin Stafford / Ismeron says:

    I was very sorry to learn of the death of Barry Irving and the demise of IRR. I had subscribed to it since its inception and found its content fair and authoritative. It is a publication I shall miss.

  • Kathryn Maloney says:

    It is with huge sadness that I’ve just today heard about Barry’s death. I was incredibly excited when he asked me to join him, Maire and Harriet Smith on a new start-up magazine called International Record Review. There is no denying it was incredibly hard work, with long hours and financial pressures, but Barry never lost his sense of humour or his absolute passion for the classical music industry. My path went a completely different way and I lost touch with Barry but will always be grateful for the many things he taught me while I worked for him.

  • Ernest Low says:

    I was very shocked when I went to my bookstore in Singapore and found out that IRR and its founder has passed on. It’s a wonderful magazine with in depth reviews and articles written by experts who care deeply about music without the deluge of advertising and fluff. I hope the magazine will live yet again in memory of its founder and the many excellent reviewers. RIP Mr. Irving.