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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.