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Biography
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was a distinguished 20th century American composer of operatic, vocal, choral, orchestral, chamber and piano music.

Barber displayed immense nascent talent as a child (telling his mother in a letter at age nine, "I have written to tell you my worrying secret...I was meant to be a composer, and will be I'm sure.").  He also had an affinity for vocal music - his aunt, Louise Homer, was a leading contralto at the Metropolitan Opera, and his uncle Sidney Homer, was a composer of art songs.  Two of Barber's signature pieces - Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Dover Beach -feature the voice.

At 14, Barber was accepted to the newly established Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1932.  From there he composed rapidly and soon produced the noteworthy works which would elevate him to national prominence, including The School for Scandal Overture (1931), Essay for Orchestra no 1 (1937), and his most famous work, the stirring Adagio for Strings (1936).

Barber served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, during which his composing all but ceased.  He was commissioned to write a symphony (the Second, in 1943), which was originally titled Symphony Dedicated to the Air Forces, but he supressed it in 1964, destroying the score.

The post-war years were marked by a period of depressive isolation following the critical rejection of Anthony and Cleopatra, his third opera, which he thought contained some of his best work.  

Samuel Barber was recognized with two Pulitzer prizes, for the opera Vanessa (1958) and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, (1962).
This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 2 Nov 2010
steven - 2 Nov 2010
steven - 2 Nov 2010
steven - 2 Nov 2010
Simeon - 25 Jan 2010
Simeon - 25 Jan 2010
Simeon - 25 Jan 2010
Simeon - 25 Jan 2010
Simeon - 21 Jan 2010
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