Sunday, February 21, 2010

'George Walker: Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist'

[George Walker: Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist; Scarecrow Press (2009)]

George Walker has alerted us to his autobiography. It is a 230-page hardcover released by Scarecrow Press in 2009: George Walker: Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist.
"That Walker was one of the foremost of contemporary composers was evident long before he won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1996. Here he offers an account of his stellar background, from his first studies in his native Washington, DC, through his degree work at Oberlin, Curtis, and Eastman-not to mention private study with Nadia Boulanger and others-providing details not previously available. . . . Walker's work as both composer and pianist, his insight into his contacts with fellow professionals, and terse analyses of his major works all unite here, making this autobiographical study a priority for musicians. Highly recommended. " —December 2009, Choice

“In 1996, George Walker became the first black American to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. This accolade, awarded for his composition 'Lilacs,' was just one of many Walker has received: Walker has been inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and has received six honorary doctoral degrees. Considered one of the most important American composers of the last century, Walker has produced works that rank among the finest in contemporary classical music.

“In Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist, Walker recounts the most significant events in his life and distinguished career as a composer and a musician. Beginning with his childhood in Washington, D.C., Walker reflects on pivotal moments that shaped his development as an artist. He recalls his early childhood, his professional debut as a concert pianist, his studies in Europe, and his connections with some of the world's most famous musicians. Along the way he includes analyses of some of his most important works.” [George Walker is profiled at]

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