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Samuel Barber

Born: March 9, 1910
Place: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Died: January 23, 1981

Samuel Barber Samuel Osborne Barber was born on March 9, 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a family where music and musicians were appreciated, and very early in his youth he proclaimed that he wanted to be a composer. Barely six years old, Samuel Barber began studying piano. He wrote his first composition at seven, and his first opera when he was ten years old. At twelve he filled the position of church organist. When Barber was fourteen years old, he entered Philadelphia's newly-founded Curtis Institute where he studied piano, composing, conducting, and singing. Although composing was his forte, Samuel Barber's singing voice, a rich baritone, was another of his musical talents.

Barber's late teenage years were consumed by his serious attention to composing. The Philadelphia Orchestra performed one of his works, Overture to the School of Scandal, when Barber was 23 years old. His compositions covered a wide range, including works for orchestra, opera, ballet, stage, and voice. He is known for his flowing melodies. He is often praised for his lyrical craftsmanship, inspired by his love of poetry. During the course of his career he produced many memorable compositions, the most acclaimed being works such as his beautiful Adagio for Strings, and his operas Vanessa and Antony and Cleopatra. Samuel Barber was the recipient of many awards for his music, including the American Prix de Rome Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others. He continued to produce works throughout his life. Samuel Barber died on January 23, 1981. He is regarded as one of America's unique creative artists, and his compositions are frequently a feature of many modern concert programs.

One of the most highly acclaimed biographies of Samuel Barber is Barbara Heyman's Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music. Heyman's book on Samuel Barber is regarded by many as the most complete and authoritative biography of Barber's life and music. It is documented with letters, original manuscripts, and interviews with his friends and colleagues. Highly recommended, Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music is available now through our association with Amazon.com by clicking here.


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