Barbe, Helmut, German organist, choral conductor, pedagogue, and composer; b. Halle an der Saale, Dec. 28, 1927. He was a student at the Berlin Kirchenmusikschule of Herbert Schulze (organ), Gottfried Grote (choral conducting), and Ernst Pepping (counterpoint). In 1952 he became Kantor at St. Nikolai Church in Berlin. From 1955 he was a teacher at the Berlin Kirchenmusikschule. In 1972 he was named Landeskirchen-musikdirektor of West Berlin. From 1975 to 1993 he was a prof. at the Berlin Hochschule der Künste. Barbe incorporated various contemporary techniques into his works, including a modified form of dodecaphony. Among his many choral works are a Passionsmotette (1955), a Magnificat (1956), Chinesischen Impressionen (1964), the 90th Psalm (1965), the oratorios Golgotha (1971), Tedeum (1975), and Potsdamer Tedeum (1992), and the Kantate zum Kirchentag 1989: “Der du die Zeit in Handern hast” (1989). He also wrote the musical Halleluja Baby (1956), Canticum Simeonis, a concerto for Tenor, Chorus, Celesta, Organ, Percussion, and String Orch. (1958), an Organ Sonata (1964), a Violin Concerto (1966), a Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1969), Hovs Hallar for 12 Strings, Percussion, and Organ (1970), and Herbst for Chorus and Harp (1988).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire