Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Denver Post: “Composer George Walker's son is ready to shine with 'Violin Concerto'"

[TOP: George Walker; BOTTOM: Gregory Walker (Photos from The Denver Post)]

arts and entertainment
“Composer George Walker's son is ready to shine with "Violin Concerto"
By Sabine Kortals
Special to The Denver Post
Posted: 12/08/2009 01:00:00 AM MST
George Walker composed 'Violin Concerto' for son Gregory, who will premiere the work with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Violinist Gregory Walker didn't know his famous composer father was writing a piece of music just for him until after it was finished. 'Dad's not really a collaborative temperament,' said Walker, longtime concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. 'The concerto just showed up on my doorstep one day without any input from me.'

“But George Walker's 'Violin Concerto' was just right for his son Gregory. And the piece was compelling enough to get noticed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, which will premiere it Thursday night in that city's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. With some 80 published works — mostly commissions — to his name, George Walker, 87, is widely recognized for blazing the trail for African-Americans in classical music. In 1996, he became the first black composer to receive a Pulitzer Prize, for his 'Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra,' based on poet Walt Whitman's reflection on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

“The 'Violin Concerto,' he said, was meant to be a surprise. 'I kept the concerto a secret for a couple of reasons: I wanted to make certain that I would be satisfied with the work, and I wanted to make sure that the timing was right for Gregory to be able to perform it.'" [George Walker is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

Comment by email
It's amusing to me to know that you are getting information before I do. Thanks. George

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