Composers Datebook®

Wayne Barlow

Wayne Barlow (1912 – 1996) – The Winter's Past (Humbert Lucarelli, oboe; Brooklyn Philharmonic; Michael Barrett, cond.) Koch 7187

Composer's Datebook - 20210906


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September 06, 2021


Today we note the birthday anniversary of the American composer and teacher Wayne Barlow, who was born in Elyria, Ohio, on today’s date in 1912, and died in Rochester, New York, in 1996.

As a composer, Barlow is mostly remembered for a single work: a rhapsody for oboe and strings entitled “The Winter’s Past,” first performed at the Eastman School of Music in 1938 by the Rochester Civic Orchestra under the direction of another noted American composer, Howard Hanson, with Eastman faculty oboist Robert Sprenkle as the soloist.

Barlow received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Eastman and taught there himself for over 40 years, eventually becoming chairman of the composition department, director of the school’s electronic music studio, and dean of graduate studies. Barlow also served as organist and choirmaster at two churches in Rochester, and composed a set of hymn voluntaries for organ, covering the church year.

Barlow once said, “While it’s impossible to know everything involved in the art of music, it’s just as impossible to be a totally successful teacher, or composer, or musicologist, or theorist, or performer, or conductor without knowing something about how ALL these pieces of the art fit together.”

Music Played in Today's Program

Wayne Barlow (1912 – 1996) – The Winter's Past (Humbert Lucarelli, oboe; Brooklyn Philharmonic; Michael Barrett, cond.) Koch 7187

On This Day


  • 1644 - Baptismal date of Spanish organist and composer Juan Bautista José Cabanilles, in Algemesi, province of Valencia;

  • 1781 - Austrian composer and music publisher Anton Diabelli, sometime on Sept 5/6, in Mattsee (near Salzburg);

  • 1912 - American composer Wayne Barlow, in Elyria, Ohio; One of his best-known works, "The Winter's Past," was recorded by the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra under Howard Hanson, Barlow's former teacher;

  • 1923 - American percussionist, composer and conductor William Kraft, in Chicago;

  • 1938 - American composer Joan Tower in New Rochelle, N.Y.;


  • 1937 - American composer and conductor Henry Hadley, age 65, in New York;

  • 1962 - German composer Hans Eisler, age 64, in East Berlin;


  • 1791 - Mozart: opera, "La Clemenza di Tito," in Prague at the National Theater. Written for and performed on the eve of the coronation of Leopold II of Prague;

  • 1910 - Vaughan William: "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis," at the Glouchester Festival, with the composer conducting;

  • 1961 - Elliott Carter: Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano with Two Chamber Orchestras, in New York during the Eight Congress of the International Musicological Society, with Gustav Meier conducting and harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick and pianist Charles Rosen as the soloists;

  • 1977 - Thea Musgrave: opera "Mary, Queen of Scots" at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, conducted by the composer;

  • 1979 - Knussen: Symphony No. 3, by the BBC Symphony in London;

  • 1995 - Lou Harrison: "A Parade for M.T.T.," by the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.