Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Composer and Pianist George Walker, Winner of Pulitzer Prize and Aaron Copland Award, is 90

[George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 3; Albany Records 1334 (2012) (Cover Photo: Frank Schramm) (56:13) ]

George Walker was born 90 years ago, June 27, 1922. He is a prolific composer and pianist whose website is; he is featured at His latest recording, reviewed on AfriClassical February 26, 2012, is George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 3; Albany Records TROY1334 (2012).

George Walker was the first composer of African descent to win the Pulitzer prize for music, for his work Lilacs, which was inspired by a poem of Walt Whitman on the death of President Abraham Lincoln.

Upon the release of Albany TROY117 (1994), Albany Records,, remarked:
“George Walker was born in Washington, DC on June 27, 1922 of West Indian-American parentage. He graduated from high school at the age of 14, attended Oberlin College and the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied piano with Rudolf Serkin and composition with Rosario Scalero. His auspicious debut at Town Hall in 1945 was described in the New York Times as " authentic talent of marked individuality and fine musical insight...a rare combination of elegance and understanding, a technical competence and a sensitiveness rarely heard at debut recitals." Walker obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Eastman and went on to study in France with Nadia Boulanger on Fulbright and John Hay Whitney Fellowships. His compositions have been played by virtually every major orchestra and chamber orchestra in the United States. This recording uniquely showcases the pianist as composer-composer as pianist as Walker performs his Sonata No. 1.”

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) recently named its 2012 Concert Music Awards Honorees: “ASCAP Honors its distinguished member, George Walker, with the Aaron Copland Award in celebration of his 90th year and for his contribution to American music as composer, pianist, educator and exemplary musical citizen.”

Comment by email:Hello Bill, Thanks so much for posting this. It was most thoughtful of you and it is greatly appreciated.  Best regards.  George  [George Walker]

No comments: