Happy Birthday, Mr. Barber


In 1970, at the 113th Academy of Music Anniversary Concert, Philadelphia Orchestra music director Eugene Ormandy was presented with a gift to honor his 70th - the Happy Birthday Variations.

Eighteen composers each contributed a variation - Bernstein, Copland, Orff, Persichetti, Virgil Thomson, Miklós Rózsa among them.

Today, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Samuel Barber's birth in West Chester, Pa., we remember Barber, who died in 1981, with a snippet of his contribution to Ormandy's musical birthday card. It's scored for brass choir and timpani, and if you take a look at the closing bars, you'll see the composer's reference to his own Adagio for Strings.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Barber.