I hadn’t known until I was driving home from work on Tuesday night, but March 9 was the 100th birthday of one of my favorite composers, Samuel Barber. And I only learned this because NPR aired a very nice tribute that evening during All Things Considered. I adore Barber’s work because it organically brought the European Romanticism of the 19th century into modern American composition. Reinvigorating the musical language with his own harmonic and rhythmic sensibilities, Barber unapologetically produced music along a very human emotional spectrum. Unfortunately, it was exactly for these reasons that his music wasn’t considered “serious” in some quarters during his lifetime. Fortunately for us, however, performers and audiences were and are unabashed about taking pleasure in playing and listening to it.
LACO’s next Westside Connections concert at The Broad Stage includes Barber’s breezy and colorful wind quintet, Summer Music. While you’re at the website, check out the Westside podcasts with series curator Margaret Batjer and our special guest for the March 25 program, playwright David Rambo.
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