Kolb, Barbara, talented American composer; b. Hartford, Conn., Feb. 10, 1939. Shereceived training in clarinet and composition at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford (1957-61; B.Mus., 1961), where she continued her composition studies with Arnold Franchetti (1961-64; M.Mus., 1965); she also taught there and played clarinet in the Hartford Sym. Orch. During the summer of 1964, she attended the composition courses of Schuller and Foss at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, and returned in the summer of 1968 to study again with Schuller. In 1966 she studied in Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship. In 1968 she held a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and returned there in 1969, 1971-72, 1980, 1983, and 1987-89. In 1969 she became the first American woman to receive the U.S. Prix de Rome, and was then active at the American Academy in Rome until 1971. In 1971-72 and 1976-77 she held Guggenheim fellowships. She was composer-in-residence at the Marlboro (Vt.) Music Festival in 1973 and at the American Academy in Rome in 1974-75.After teaching at Brooklyn Coll. of the City Univ. of N.Y. (1973–75), she was artistic director of the “Music New to N.Y.” series at the Third Street Music School Settlement (1979–82). In 1983-84 she was activeat IRCAM in Paris. She was a visiting prof, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., in 1984-85. In 1987 she received a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for her Millefoglie. Her music is marked by a sui generis melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic environment in which atonal writing is occasionally complemented by elements à la American jazz and French impressionism.
dramatic:Cantico, tape collage score for J. Herbert’s film on St. Francis of Assisi (N.Y., Dec. 5, 1982); dance score (N.Y., April 18, 1995).orch.:Crosswinds for Wind Ensemble and Percussion (1969; Rome, Sept. 24, 1970); Trobar Clus for Chamber Ensemble (Tanglewood, Aug. 17, 1970); Soundings for Chamber Ensemble and Tape (1971-72; N.Y., Oct. 27, 1972; rev. version for Orch., N.Y., Dec. 11, 1975; 2nd rev. version, Boston, Feb. 16, 1978); Grisaille (1978-79; Portland, Maine, Feb. 13, 1979); Yet That Things Go Round for Chamber Orch. (1986-87; N.Y., May 2, 1987; rev. 1988); The Enchanted Loom (1988-89; Atlanta, Feb. 15, 1990; rev. 1992); Voyants for Piano and Chamber Orch. (Paris, Feb. 22, 1991); All in Good Time (1993; N.Y., Feb. 24, 1994). chamber:Rebuttal for 2 Clarinets (1964); Figments for Flute and Piano (1967; rev. 1969); Solitaire for Piano and Tape (1971; N.Y., Oct. 27, 1972); Toccata for Harpsichord and Tape (1971; San Marcos, Tex., Sept. 12, 1973); Spring River Floers Moon Night for 2 Pianos and Tape (1974-75; N.Y., Jan. 12, 1976); Looking for Claudio for Guitar and Tape (Belgian Radio and TV, Brussels, May 22, 1975); Homage to Keith Jarrett and Gary Burton for Flute and Vibraphone (Dallas, March 31, 1976; rev. 1977); Appello for Piano (Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 1976); 3 Lullabies for Guitar (Paris, March 27, 1980); Related Characters for Clarinet or Trumpet and Piano (1980; also for Viola and Piano, Los Angeles, Nov. 7, 1982, and for Alto Saxophone and Piano); The Point That Divides the Wind for Organ, Percussion, and 3 Men’s Voices (1981-82; N.Y., March 7, 1983); Cavatina for Violin (Washington, D.C., May 21, 1983; rev. 1985); Millefoglie for 9 Instrumentalists and Computergenerated Tape (1984-85; Paris, June 5, 1985; rev. 1987); Time-…and Again for Oboe, String Quartet, and Computer Tape (Washington, D.C., Nov. 22, 1985); Umbrian Colors for Violin and Guitar (Marlboro, Vt., Aug. 13, 1986); Introduction and Allegra for Guitar (Washington, D.C., Feb. 19, 1992); Extremes for Flute and Cello (N.Y., March 15, 1989); Cloudspin for Organ and Tape (Cleveland, Oct. 23, 1991; also for Brass Quintet and Organ); Monticello Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (Charlottesville, Va., Oct. 11, 1992); In Memory of David Huntley for String Quartet (N.Y., Oct. 13, 1994); Turnabout for Flute and Piano (N.Y., March 16, 1994); Sidebars for Bassoon and Piano (Rotterdam, Sept. 1, 1995); New York Moonglow for Chamber Ensemble (N.Y., April 18, 1995). vocal:Chansons bas for Soprano, Harp, and 2 Percussionists (1966); 3 Place Settings for Narrator, Clarinet, Violin, Double Bass, and Percussion (1968); Songs Before an Adieu for Soprano, Flute or Alto Flute, and Guitar (1976-79; WFMT-FM, Chicago, May 23, 1979); Chromatic Fantasy for Narrator and 6 Instruments (Minneapolis, Nov. 4, 1979); The Sundays of My Life, popular song (1982); Virgin Mother Creatrix for Chorus (Indiana, Pa., March 19, 1998).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire