Samuel Barber
1910-1981

Samuel Barber's music, masterfully crafted and built on romantic structures and sensibilities, is at once lyrical, rhythmically complex, and harmonically rich. Barber was the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the American Prix de Rome, two Pulitzers, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His intensely lyrical Adagio for Strings has become one of the most recognizable and beloved compositions, both in concerts and films ("Platoon," "The Elephant Man," "El Norte," "Lorenzo's Oil"). Barber’s opera Vanessa, with libretto by Gian-Carlo Menotti, is often considered the first American grand opera. The rejection by critics of Antony & Cleopatra (1966) led to a severe bout of depression and Barber composed very little during the last years of his life.