Barber, Samuel

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.