George Walker (b. 1922)
has a website at http://georgetwalker.com/
and is featured at AfriClassical.com
On June 8, 2015 AfriClassical posted:
Among the significant events of George Walker's 92nd year was the Mannes Beethoven Institute of 2015. We linked to a New York Times article of June 5, 2015 b
The unimaginatively named Mannes Beethoven Institute has in recent years reached far beyond Beethoven, pairing his works with those by contemporary composers. Stephen Hartke and Peter Lieberson were recently featured; for this year’s lineup, music by the New Jersey-based composer George Walker is in the spotlight.
In 1996, Mr. Walker, now 92, became the first black composer to win a Pulitzer Prize, for “Lilacs,” a short piece for soprano and orchestra based on a poem by Walt Whitman.
Mr. Walker trained as a pianist at the Curtis Institute with Rudolf Serkin, and his compositional mentors included Rosario Scalero and Nadia Boulanger. His large catalog features several concertos, numerous chamber pieces and five piano sonatas; he has received commissions from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
Despite those accolades, his works are infrequently performed, and the program on Wednesday at Mannes offered a welcome chance to hear two pieces of contrasting character. Indeed, it seemed unlikely that the same composer had written the spiky Violin Sonata No. 2 (1979) and the luxuriant “Lyric for Strings.” The violinist Miranda Cuckson was the fiery soloist in the violin sonata, deftly paired with the pianist Thomas Sauer, the director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute.
Comment by email:
Hello Bill, It's very kind of you to remember my birthday. I am most appreciative of your thoughtfulness. Best regards. George [George Walker]
By BookChick (@bookchick1327)