John Barrows collection, c. 1930-1973

Barrows, John, 1913-1974, creator

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Format Mixed Materials; Music Scores; Sound Recordings; Photos, Drawings, Prints
  • Contributors
  • Publication c. 1930-1973
  • Physical Details
    • 11.9 linear ft. (3 record cartons, 5 flat archival boxes)
  • OCLC on1087968485


  • Materials in the collection are non-circulating but may be consulted in the library; access through staff retrieval only.
  • Collection materials may be subject to laws governing rights. Researchers are solely responsible for determining the rights status of the materials they use. Permission may be required for some uses such as publication or reproduction.


  • John Barrows was a renown French horn player, composer, arranger and music educator. The collection documents the extent of Barrows' performing career, his interests and influences in composition, and his collaborative friendship with composer Alec Wilder. The bulk of the materials stem from his years as teacher, composer, and performer while at UW-Madison.
  • The collection features manuscript scores of original works and arrangements; published scores, sound recordings, a scrapbook, photographs, newspaper clippings, and concert programs arranged into 2 series: Series 1: "Manuscript Materials," features scores of original works and arrangements; a large number of incomplete works and sketches; a scrapbook of concert programs and newspaper clippings; a small number of books, photographs, and music notebooks. Series 2: "Sound Recordings," contains audiotape reels and audiocassettes, mostly unlabeled, but some indicate student recitals and practice tapes. Some recordings indicate they are to or from Alec Wilder.


  • Forms part of: Wisconsin Music Archives.
  • Related collection; Mills Music Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • John Barrows was born in 1913 in Glendale, CA, and attended high school in San Diego, CA where he studies cello and horn. In 1938 he joined the Minneapolis Symphony before serving in the Army during World War II. His performing career included concerts with the Budapest String Quartet, Pasquier Trio, New York Woodwind Quintet, Fine Arts Quartet and Wingra Woodwind Quintet; appearances with New York City Opera and Casals Festival Orchestra; and has worked with musicians such as Woody Herman, Miles Davis and Billie Holiday. Barrows taught French horn at Yale University and New York University accepting a horn professor position at University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1961 until his death in 1974. His compositions include chamber music works featuring French horn, and arrangements for band. His friend, composer Alec Wilder, dedicated three sonatas and a suite of his to Barrows.
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