Saturday, June 26, 2010

Composer George Walker, 88 on June 27, Has Autobiography, Violin Concerto & 2 Chamber Music CDs

[ABOVE: George Walker: Chamber Music and Songs, Son Sonora String Quartet; Angelo Frascarelli, conductor; Naxos 8.559659 (2010) (73:43) BELOW: Great American Orchestral Music, Vol. 2; Gregory Walker, violin; Andrzej Krzyzanowski, solo flute; Sinfonia Varsovia; Ian Hobson, conductor; Troy 1178 (2010) (57:49)]

The African American composer and pianist George Walker was born in Washington, D.C. June 27, 1922. He is profiled at, and his personal website is

In 1996 George Walker became the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music. The winning work was Lilacs, for voice and orchestra. The year leading up to George Walker's 88th birthday has been filled with notable events. One of the most significant was the premiere of his Violin Concerto on December 10, 2009. The violinist was his son Gregory Walker, Professor of Music at the University of Colorado Denver. He was accompanied by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Neemi Järvi.

The year 2010 has witnessed the release of a CD recorded in Warsaw on October 30, 2009, Great American Orchestral Music, Vol. 2, with Gregory Walker on violin and Andrzej Krzyzanowski on solo flute. Ian Hobson conducted the Sinfonia Varsovia. The CD is an Albany Records release, Troy 1178.

On December 1, 2009 AfriClassical posted: “'George Walker: Chamber Music' on Naxos, streaming and download; Notes by composer.” Naxos provides the notes of the composer at a link titled About the Recording. The recording is presently available by streaming and download only. However, Naxos has announced the release of a CD version in July 2010.

An autobiography of George Walker has also appeared in the past year. It is a 230-page hardcover released by Scarecrow Press in 2009: George Walker: Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist.

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