Samuel Barber

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Related to Samuel Barber: Gian Carlo Menotti

Barber, Samuel,

1910–81, American composer, b. West Chester, Pa. Barber studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia. His music is lyrical and generally tonal; his later works are more chromatic and polytonal with striking contrapuntal elements. Among his outstanding works are a setting of Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" for voice and string quartet (1931); an overture to The School for Scandal (1931); Adagio for Strings (1936); two symphonies (1936, 1944); Capricorn Concerto for flute, oboe, and trumpet (1944) and a piano concerto (1962; Pulitzer Prize); a ballet, Medea (1946); Knoxville: Summer of 1915, for soprano and orchestra (1947), derived from a segment of James Agee's novel A Death in the Family; a modern oratorio, Prayers of Kierkegaard (1954); and two operas, Vanessa (1957; Pulitzer Prize) and Antony and Cleopatra (1966), commissioned to open the new Metropolitan Opera House.


See biography by N. Broder (1954).

Barber, Samuel

(1910–81) composer; born in West Chester, Pa. From a musical family, Barber decided on his career in childhood and attended the Curtis Institute of Music from 1924–34. There he wrote the orchestral works The School for Scandal and Music for a Scene from Shelly, which gained him attention in America and Europe. His Adagio for Strings, premiered by Toscanini in 1938, was an immediate hit and remains his best-known score. In the late 1930s Barber joined the Curtis faculty; he left teaching and served in the military from 1942. After the war he settled into a house in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., with composer Gian-Carlo Menotti, who wrote the libretto to Barber's opera Vanessa (1958). His music, long popular with listeners, is marked by a classical clarity often joined to a late-Romantic wistfulness; later work, such as the Piano Concerto (a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1963) uses more modernistic techniques without giving up Barber's basic expressiveness. Antony and Cleopatra, written for the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera in 1966, was a celebrated failure, although later productions of a revised version fared better.
References in periodicals archive ?
The 100th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Barber, one of America's great composers, seems an appropriate time to consider the full scope of his compositional output.
They are Ernest Bloch, Howard Hanson, Vittorio Giannini, Paul Creston, Samuel Barber, and Nicolas Flagello.
In the 1940s a survey indicated that the four American composers whose works were most often performed at that time were George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, and George Antheil.
Though a member of a generation of American composers that included many prominent figures who were gay (John Cage, Samuel Barber, Ned Rorem), Harrison was more open and matter-of-fact than any of them.
Bach, Marcel Dupr, Maurice Durufl, Samuel Barber and Flor Peeters, demonstrating the depth and breadth of sounds of the instrument.
The Samuel Barber centenary was bound to encourage a profusion of new publications about the composer, supplementing Barbara Heyman's authoritative Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), which will soon appear in a new edition.
They spun out movie themes, Beatles hits, rock favorites, as well as versions of Vivaldi, Samuel Barber and Albinoni, and assorted other riffs on classical composers.
Songs by Canadian composer Srul Irving Glick and American composers Paul Bowles and Samuel Barber flesh out the program.
Locke edits the University of Rochester Press's series Eastman Studies in Music, which has recently published two titles on American music: John Koegel's Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City, 1840-1940 and Peter Dickinson's Samuel Barber Remembered: A Centenary Tribute.
Frederic Chopin was born on March 1, 1810, Robert Schumann was born on June 8, 1810, American Samuel Barber was born on March 9, 1910 and Gustav Mahler was born on July 7, 1860.
The firm was founded by Samuel Barber in 1914, just before the Great War, quickly establishing an impressive clientele.
She counted among her friends Rudolf Nureyev, Samuel Barber and Noel Coward.