Thursday, June 27, 2013

Composer George Walker Celebrates 91st Birthday With 'Our American Roots: Gershwin, Barber, Walker, Copland' from Delos

Our American Roots: Gershwin, Barber, Walker, Copland
Emmanuel Feldman, cello; Joy Cline Phinney, piano
Delos 3449 (2013)

The composer and pianist George Walker was born in Washington, D.C. June 27, 1922, is featured at and has a website at  He made history in 1996 as the first African-American Pulitzer Prize Winner in Music.

Peter Nelson-King writes   On Wednesday, April 17, 2013 he posted: George Walker - a Self-Styled "Great American Composer",  in which he writes at length of the composer's works.  He notes: "Walker initially gained fame as a piano prodigy, entering Oberlin Conservatory at age 14, moving to Curtis Institute of Music and eventually getting his doctorate from Eastman School of Music."

George Walker has recorded prolifically; lists 27 CDs under his name. An impressive number are devoted entirely to his compositions, as is the case for George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 (2012). The composer's most recent release is his first on the Delos Music label, and was released just a month ago, on May 28, 2013: Our American Roots: Gershwin, Barber, Walker, Copland; Delos 3449. calls the disc "A varied program of seldom-heard American cello sonatas and well-crafted arrangements of beloved musical Americana." notes the recording includes "a pair of rarely heard (and recorded) cello sonatas by Samuel Barber and George Walker." "George Walker, Sonata for Cello and piano (1957); Allegro passionato, Sostenuto, Allegro."

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