The Great Composer Quiz, June 8, 2020

This time, it’s a Quiz about how to assuage your parents’ worries. At age nine this Great Composer wrote a letter to his mother which read, “I have written to tell you my worrying secret. Now don’t cry when you read it because it is neither yours nor my fault. I will have to tell it now, without any nonsense. I was not meant to be an athlete. I was meant to be a composer and will be I’m sure. I’ll ask you one more thing. – Don’t ask me to try to forget this unpleasant thing and go play football.” So who was this boy destined to score masterpieces not touchdowns, this Great Composer?

Time’s up, pencils down! The Great Composer who at age nine, warned his mother he would never be an athlete. His mother, Marguerite McLeod, was a pianist, so you have to think maybe she would welcome the news from her son that he wanted a life in music, but who knows, maybe she had tried to warn him off of it. The answer is Samuel Barber, born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where the NFL team of choice is the Philadelphia Eagles. A year after writing that letter, ten-year-old Samuel wrote his first opera, The Rose Tree, or tried to anyway, and at twelve Barber won a job as organist at a local church.