Barbara Harbach, professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has been named a composer of the month by the Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music. As of yesterday (Nov. 3), she was among a handful of composers profiled for the month on the center’s Web site, http://www.pytheasmusic.org.

The center’s mission is to promote contemporary composers and their music through information, understanding and performances.

“I am deeply honored to be featured as one of the Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music’s composers of the month,” Harbach said. “What the center is doing to showcase contemporary concert music and composers is truly impressive and much appreciated by the artists”

The honor comes on the heels of the release of a new album of her compositions, “Music of Barbara Harbach Volume Five: Vocal Music.” Released last month by MSR Classics, the album features a collection of Harbach’s songs for soprano and various instrumental combinations performed by numerous guest artists. UMSL contributors include Kurt Baldwin, Chancellor Tom George, David Gillham, Harbach, Stella Markou, Joanna Mendoza, Jim Richards and Alla Voskoboynikova.

“Music of Barbara Harbach” volumes one through five can be purchased athttp://www.amazon.com. The final two releases in the seven-volume series will be out in March 2010 and January 2011.

Harbach also composed music for “O Pioneers!”, a new opera based on the Willa Cather novel of the same name. “O Pioneers!” made its debut last month at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL. The production was praised by St. Louis Examiner, which wrote, “Composer Barbara Harbach now can add a successful opera to her long list of top-notch musical accomplishments.”

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz