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October 14, 1921

The Barrère Ensemble gave a concert before a large audience in the Assembly Hall. The New York woodwind group was directed by renowned French flutist Georges Barrère, a member of the Symphonic Society of New York. “It was easy to believe,” wrote two seniors in The Miscellany News, “that Mr. Barrère is the foremost of flutists…. Two of the most delightful numbers of the program were the Adagio of the Mozart Serenade and the Rigadon for Poldowski’s Suite Miniature, in which the theme was carried from part to part bringing one instrument after another into prominence.” The student reviewers were also struck by “the rich harmony” of Leo Sowerby’s Quintet, which “was written five years ago when the composer was seventeen,” calling it “a particularly fine opportunity to hear modern music by a composer of our own age played as perfectly as it could be done.” “Mr. Barrère’s rendering of Bach’s Sonate in E Major,” however, was “the feature of the program, if one could choose.”

The ensemble—flute, oboe, horn, clarinet and bassoon—visited Vassar several times. It’s director’s fame was established in December 1894, when the 22 year-old Barrère played the opening notes on solo flute in the première of Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.

The Years