Free Public Lectures


Dr Barbara B. Heyman ,music historian and author of the award-winning biography of American composer Samuel Barber, will present three lectures as part of the Samuel Barber Centenary Celebrations.  The lectures will take place during the week beginning 8 March 2010 (see details below).  All are open to the public and are free of charge.


Dr. Heyman’s participation in the Samuel Barber Centenary Celebrations in Dublin has been made possible by the kind support of the Embassy of the United States in Ireland.



Tuesday 9th March 2010



Carolan Room of The National Concert Hall  

(40 minutes)  

'Samuel Barber’s Vocal Gift and His Connections with Ireland'  - Audiovisual talk


Dr. Heyman will explore the particular nature of Barber’s gift for vocal music, Barber as singer himself, and why performers find his songs so gratifying; …the strong influence of Irish poets from his earliest years; the influence of his Irish housekeeper, who wrote the libretto of the young Sam’s earliest opera, The Rose Tree; the influence of his uncle Sidney Homer, who himself wrote songs on James Stephens’s texts; Barber’s trip to Donegal in 1952.  Since virtually all of Barber’s instrumental music was vocally inspired, the voice provides the context for the String Quartet (including the celebrated Adagio for Strings. 


This talk preceeds the ‘Echoes of Ireland’ gala concert at 8.00p.m.


Wednesday 10th March 2010

1 p.m.


The Royal Irish Academy of Music

(45 minutes)


'The Musicologist as Detective: Serendipitous Discoveries' - Public Lecture


Public Lecture in The Royal Irish Academy of Music Guest Lecture Series 2009-2010.


Dr. Heyman will show how her research into Samuel Barber’s life and work has turned up some unexpected musical gems… which have now become part of the standard musical canon!


Friday 12th March 2010

12.00 noon   

Carolan Room of The National Concert Hall

(40 minutes)   

'Samuel Barber and His Works for the Piano' - Audiovisual talk.

Dr. Heyman will focus on the piano works being playing by Lilia Boyadjieva in Friday’s recital: how and when they were composed, Vladimir Horowitz’s involvement with the Sonata, and the amusing origin of the titles of the two unpublished piano pieces. 


By weaving Barber’s own words into her lecture, as well as playing excerpts of him singing lieder, recorded in 1938,  Dr. Barbara Heyman will show us how Barber’s music is timely for us today and why it will endure.


This talk preceede ‘The Piano Works’ lunchtime recital at 1.05 p.m. in the John Field Room


See full Listing Table of Nóta Samuel Barber Events in March 2010


NCH - National Concert Hall

Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 417 0000

RIAM - Royal Academy of Music

6-38 Westland Row, Dublin 2, Ireland

Telephone: +353 1 676 4412

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