Samuel Barber (Mar 9,1910 - Jan 23 1981) was an American composer of classical music, born in West Chester, PA. He studied composition, and as a singer, at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, 1924-32, where he first won acclaim.
His music is romantic and accessible, and he is one of the most popular American composers world wide, both in the concert hall and on recordings. "Adagio for Strings", his reworking for string orchestra, of the second movement of his String Quartet (1936), is a universal favorite. He also arranged it for choir as a setting of the 'Agnus Dei'. His Violin Concerto (1940) is also frequently programmed, and often recorded. His 'Knoxville: Summer of 1915' for soprano and orchestra is a musical invocation of an era.
- The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music