Samuel Barber was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1910 and died in New York, New York in 1981. His parents were Marguerite McLeod Beatty and Samuel Leroy Barber. Music was an influence in his life from his earliest days. His mother’s side of the family were more musical than his father’s. His aunt on his mother’s side was Louise Homer, a contralto who performed with the Metropolitan Opera. Louise’s husband was composer Sidney Homer.
Samuel started music lessons early, first with the cello and then with the piano. He knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a composer and started composing his first opera at the age of 10, an unfinished work called the Rose Tree.
He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia starting in 1924. He excelled in his studies in piano, voice, and composition and obtained his Bachelor of Music in 1934.
Over his life time he wrote 103 solo songs. Hermit Songs were originally written by Barber for soprano Leontyne Price. Inspired by Irish poetry, Hermit Songs was the start of a twenty year collaboration between Barber and Price.
On January 21, 2016 soprano Andriana Chuchman will perform Hermit Songs, Op. 29 on our stage. Join us! http://music-toronto.com/