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, on December 17, 1996.
As a composer, Barlow is mostly remembered for a single work: a rhapsody for oboe and strings entitled “The Winter’s Past.” It was premiered 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.
An exceptionally well-rounded musician himself, Wayne Barlow hoped his students would be similarly well-versed in more than just one musical specialty. Barlow once said, “To me music is rather indivisible—which is to say, while it is impossible to know all about everything involved in the art of music, it is 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 PastHumbert Lucarelli, oboe; Brooklyn Philharmonic; Michael Barrett, cond.Koch 7187