Dr. Barbara Harbach, Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is an accomplished composer and highly regarded organist and harpsichordist with an extensive catalog of compositions and recordings. As a composer, her works range from symphonies, operas, and chamber pieces to film scores, modern ballet, and compositions for organ and harpsichord. She is also involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of eighteenth-century keyboard composers, as well as historical and contemporary women composers. Her work is available in both recorded and published form through MSR Classics, Naxos Records, Gasparo Records, Kingdom Records, Albany Records, Northeastern Records, Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Encore Music Publishers, Art of Sound Music, Agape Music and Vivace Press.
In June, 2009, her musical, Booth! was premiered at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City where it won a competition at the Tisch School of the Arts. O Pioneers! – An American Opera was premiered in October, 2009, at the University of Missouri, St. Louis in the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
Harbach has toured the world extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist, and her performances and recordings have captured the imagination of many American composers. The body of work written for and dedicated to Harbach is substantial. Musical America has called her “nothing short of brilliant,” and Gramophone has cited her as an “acknowledged interpreter – and, indeed, muse – of modern harpsichord music.” She was host of the weekly television music series Palouse Performance seen throughout the Inland Northwest.
Harbach holds academic degrees from Pennsylvania State University (B.A.), Yale University (M.M.A.), Musikhochschule (Konzertdiplom) in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). In 2002, she received an honorary doctorate in music, Honoris Causa, from Wilmington College, Ohio for her lifetime achievement as a composer, performer, editor and publisher.
Barbara Harbach initiated Women in the Arts-St. Louis, a celebration of the achievements of women creators. Over 800 events by various cultural organizations in the St. Louis region have provided audiences with new and historical examples of the work of women writers, composers and artists. Harbach has received numerous awards for her work as an artist, educator, and presenter. In 2014 she was named a University of Missouri Curators’ Professor of Music as well as National Arts Associate Distinguished Member of SAI, Buffalo Chapter. In 2016, she was chosen as one of the 30 Most Innovative Women Professors Alive Today.