Samuel Osborne Barber (March 9, 1910–January 23, 1981) was an American composer of classical
music, best known for his Adagio For Strings
. He was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and began to compose at the age of seven. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia before becoming a fellow of the American Academy in Rome in 1935. The following year he wrote his String Quartet in B minor, the second movement of which he would arrange, at Arturo Toscanini
's suggestion, for string orchestra as Adagio for Strings, and again for mixed chorus as Agnus Dei.