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date: 24 February 2020

Barab, Seymourlocked


(b Chicago, IL, Jan 9, 1921).

American composer and cellist. At the age of 13 he performed as a church organist in Chicago. Later he studied cello with Gregor Piatigorsky and Edmund Kurtz and between 1940 and 1960 played in several major orchestras, including those of Indianapolis, Cleveland, Portland (Oregon), and San Francisco. Among the chamber ensembles he helped to organize are the Composers Quartet, and the New York Pro Musica, in which he played viola da gamba. During the 1960s Barab taught at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and at the New England Conservatory.

A sojourn in Paris in 1952 fostered Barab’s interest in composition; while there he wrote more than 200 art songs, and he continues to write mainly vocal works. He has written dozens of operas, most of which are in one act. Of these the most frequently performed are Chanticleer (libretto by M.C. Richards, after Chaucer; first performed in Aspen, ...

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