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UMSL School of Fine and Performing Arts
Director, School of Fine and Performing Arts
Curators' Distinguished Professor of Music, Music Composition, Music History, Organ and Harpsichord
Dr. Barbara Harbach, Director of the School of Fine and Performing Arts and Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Music, has toured extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist throughout the United States and in Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Romania, Russian Siberia. Harbach’s lively performances and recordings have captured the imagination of many American composers, and the body of work written for and dedicated to her is substantial. She is involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of 18th century keyboard composers, as well as of historical and contemporary women composers.
As an accomplished and prolific composer herself, Harbach has a large catalog of works, including symphonies, operas and ballets; works for chamber and string ensembles; musicals and film scores; works for organ, harpsichord and piano; choral anthems; and arrangements for brass and organ of Baroque music.
Harbach initiated Women in the Arts−St. Louis, which through more than 800 events by various cultural organizations provided audiences with new and historical examples of the achievements of women writers, composers and artists. For her efforts in this regard, she received the Arts Education Award from the Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Citizen for the Arts Award, Yellow Rose Award from the Zonta International Club of St. Louis, and Faculty Excellence Award from the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Harbach has also received the Hellenic Spirit Foundation Award, Grand Center Visionary Award for “Successful Working Artist,” Argus Foundation Award, and YWCA Leader of Distinction Award in the Arts.
She has hosted the weekly television music series Palouse Performance, seen throughout the Inland Northwest, and serves as Editor of the WomenArts Quarterly Journal. Harbach holds a baccalaureate degree in music from Pennsylvania State University, master of musical arts degree from Yale, Konzertdiplom from the Musikhochschule-Frankfurt, and a doctor of musical arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. In 2002, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in music (Honoris Causa) from Wilmington College for her lifetime achievement as a composer, performer, editor and publisher. Recordings of Harbach’s music are available on the MSR Classics, Naxos, Gasparo, Kingdom, Albany and Northeastern labels, and her music is published by Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Agape Music, Vivace Press, and Art of Sound Music.
In 2016, she was chosen as one of the 30 Most Innovative Women Professors Alive Today as well as ranked as the number one female organist.