American composer George Theophilus Walker was born in Washington DC on 27 June 1922. He studied piano from the age of five, and gave his first public recital at fourteen. He studied piano and organ at Oberlin Conservatory and then piano, chamber music and composition at the Curtis Institute, where his composition teacher was Rosario Scalero (who also taught Samuel Barber).
In 1957 he received a Fulbright Fellowship and a John Hay Whitney Fellowship, and studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger.
In 1966 he was the first black composer to receive the Pulizer Prize (for his work Lilacs for voice and orchestra).
George Walker died in Montclair, New Jersey on 23 August 2018, aged ninety-six.
Spotlight. A Great Release - Geoff Pearce appreciates Laura van der Heijden and Jâms Coleman's cello and piano recital. '... the performers do not appear to be recorded with microphones too close, which results in realistic blending, and also a feeling of distance, perhaps reflecting the distant and mysterious qualities of the moonlight.'
Ensemble. Inventive Programming - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Vaughan Williams, George Walker and Tchaikovsky
Ensemble. A Welcome Opportunity - Mike Wheeler listens to the recital 'Colour My Song' at the 2022 Buxton Festival
CD Spotlight - Lilacs. '... interesting and imaginative music ... professional and committed throughout.' The music of American composer George Walker, with Keith Bramich