Born: April 27, 1925 - Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: May 16, 1997 - Manhattan, New York, USA
The American flutist and conductor, and teacher, Samuel Baron, began his musical studies as a violinist before switching to the flute in high school. He studied music at the Henry Street Settlement, Brooklyn College (1940-1945) and the Juilliard School of Music in New York with Georges Barrère, Edgar Schenkman and Arthur Lora. After graduating from Juilliard in 1948, he returned to study conducting.
In 1948 Samuel Baron founded the New York Brass Ensemble, which he conducted, and in 1949 the New York Woodwind Quintet, in which he was the flutist. As a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, he gave premieres of Samuel Barber's 'Summer Music' and works by William Bergsma, Ezra Laderman, Wallingford Riegger and Gunther Schuller. He left the quintet in 1969 but returned in 1980. He made many recordings with both groups. He also performed with the American Chamber Orchestra, and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.
In the 1950's, Samuel Baron's work as a flutist eclipsed his conducting. He played played flute in the New York Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the New York City Opera, and was the principal flutist for one season, 1952-1953, with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.
In 1965, Samuel Baron joined the Bach Aria Group, replacing Julius Baker, who had become principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1980, he became director of the Bach Aria Group, which became a resident ensemble at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, New York, and held there the annual Bach Aria Festival and Institute (1981-1997). He was also the assistant conductor of the Musica Aeterna concerts starting in 1981.
Samuel Baron taught at the Yale School of Music (1965-1967Who’s Who or 1966-1968NYT), at SUNY starting in 1966, at Mannes College of Music (1969-1972), and at the Juilliard School of Music (chair of the woodwind department) from 1971NYT or 1977Who’s Who.
Samuel Baron, who served as President of the National Flute Association in 1977-1978, was a recipient of its 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award, and his students and colleagues honored him with tributes at the 1993 and 1997 NFA conventions. He died in 1997 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He was 72 and lived in Great Neck, New York. He was survived by his wife, Carol; a son, David, of Venice, Califfornia, a daughter, Pamela, of Manhattan, and a sister, Sydel Fishman.
His publications Include: Edition of J.S. Bach's Flute sonata in A; Chamber Music for Wind (1969). His recordings include: many albums with the New York Brass Ensemble. One of his most notable accomplishments in his work was a transcription of J.S. Bach's Art of the Fugue (BWV 1080) for wind quintet and string quartet, recorded with that ensemble .