George Walker was the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music, in 1996 for his vocal-orchestral work Lilacs. One of America’s most distinguished composers, Walker was born in 1922. He was trained as a pianist and as a composer at the Eastman School of Music, where he received doctoral degrees in 1956 and 1957. You can hear Walker’s Lyric for Strings, his best-known piece, here, and see him interviewed by his son Gregory here.
You can hear Eastman students perform music by George Walker, as well as vocal and instrumental music by a range of African American composers such as William Grant Still, Margaret Bonds, and Duke Ellington, this Thursday, February 27 at 8 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall., The free concert in honor of Black History Month is sponsored by Eastman’s Diversity Committee and Musicology Department.