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Seymour Barab

Composer, Musician
( b. Jan 09, 1921 Chicago, Illinois, USA - d. Jun 28, 2014 New York, New York, USA ) Male

Seymour Barab was a composer known for his whimsical chamber operas on such stirring subjects as passion, poison and pizza. Originally renowned as a cellist, Mr. Barab was a lifelong champion of contemporary music. He was a founding member of the Composers String Quartet, established in the mid-1960s with the violinists Matthew Raimondi and Anahid Ajemian and the violist Bernard Zaslav.

As a composer, Mr. Barab was most famous for vocal works, including settings of texts by writers as diverse as Dryden, Yeats and Kurt Vonnegut. Recordings of his vocal music include the "Cosmos Cantata" for singers and chamber orchestra, with text by Vonnegut.

Mr. Barab was especially well known for composing operas. Those on serious subjects include the full-length works "Philip Marshall," a retelling of Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot," set in the Reconstruction-era American South, and "A Piece of String," based on the Guy de Maupassant story about false accusation and a man's undoing.

But he was still more widely known for lighter one-act works whose accessibility, tunefulness and economy of scale made them among the most frequently performed operas in the world. With humorous librettos by Mr. Barab and casts ranging in size from a single singer to a half-dozen, they are perennial favorites of college, semiprofessional and regional companies.

Mr. Barab also wrote many operas for children, including adaptations of "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella" and "Snow White" and a Christmas opera, "Father of the Child."

Source: The New York Times obituary

ProductionsDate of Productions
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
[Play, Original]
  • Cello: Seymour Barab
Oct 30, 1963 - Feb 15, 1964
A Shadow of My Enemy
[Play, Original]
  • Music by Seymour Barab
Dec 11, 1957 - Dec 14, 1957
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