The music of American composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981) has been lauded for its rich harmonies, lyricism, and rhythmic complexity. His romantic craftsmanship earned him numerous awards during his lifetime, including two Pulitzer Prizes, the American Prix de Rome, and inclusion in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Barber was born into a comfortable and musical family, and he composed his first piece when he was seven years old, continuing on to the Curtis Institute, where he began his formal studies of composotion, piano and voice. He went on to compose works for a variety of genres, including orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. During his twenties, Barber composed a variety of successful pieces, catapulting him into the spotlight of classical music.

His Adagio for Strings is widely considered a masterpiece of modern classical music, and has become an easily recognizable piece at both performances and in the media, having been used extensively in modern cinema.


Sculpting the Air

Release Date: June 1, 2011
Catalog Number: NV5852
20th Century
Large Ensemble
Wind Ensemble
SCULPTING THE AIR is a collection of modern works featuring brass and flute instrumentations from composers Samuel Barber, James Adler, Russ Lombardi, Jan Van der Roost, Barry Seroff, Brian Gillett, Juan Sebastian Lach Lau and Richard Crosby. The works on this disc range from a rhapsodic wind quintet originally composed for winds, strings and piano to a musical representation of a familial argument to a spectral piece based on one of Satie's Gymnopédies.