Walker, George, 1922-2018

Alternative names

Hide Profile

George Walker (b. June 27, 1922, Washington, DC–d. Aug. 23, 2018, Montclair, NJ) was a composer, pianist, and organist. Born in Washington, DC, he began playing piano at age 5. While attending Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, Howard University hosted his first public recital at age 14 in the university's Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel. He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory at 18 with the highest honors in his Conservatory class. Walker then attended the Curtis Institute of Music to study piano with Rudolf Serkin, chamber music with William Primrose and Gregor Piatigorsky, and composition with Rosario Scalero, graduating as one of the first black graduates in 1945. He became first black recipient of a doctoral degree from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music in 1956.

Walker balanced a career as a concert pianist, teacher, and composer. He taught at Dillard University (1954), the New School for Social Research, Smith College (1961–68) where he became the first tenured black faculty member, the University of Colorado Boulder (1968–69), Rutgers University (1969–92), the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University (1975–78), and the University of Delaware (1975–76). In 1957 Walker was awarded both a Fulbright Fellowship and a John Hay Whitney Fellowship and studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

In 1996, Walker became the first black composer to receive the Pulitzer Prize In Music for his work, Lilacs.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Address : for orchestra / George Walker. Indiana University
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Lament / poem by Countee Cullen ; [music by] George Walker. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Wind set : for woodwind quintet / George Walker. Library of Congress
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Antifonys : for string orchestra / George Walker. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Elevation ; Jesu wir sind hier : chorale prelude : organ / George Walker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Sinfonia no. 2 for orchestra / George Walker. Library of Congress
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Music of George Walker [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. George Walker papers, 1940-2008. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. O my luve's like a red, red rose / poem by Robert Burns ; [music by] George Walker. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Correspondence with Eugene Ormandy, 1978. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Walker, George, 1922-. Spatials; (variations) for piano. California State University East Bay, Hayward Campus Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Boulanger, Nadia, 1887-1979 person
associatedWith Burke, D'Walla Simmons. person
associatedWith Burns, Robert, 1759-1796 person
associatedWith Cleare, Bernadette. person
associatedWith Cullen, Countee, 1903-1946 person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Curtis Institute of Music. corporateBody
employeeOf Dalcroze School of Music corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, Matthew, 1983- person
associatedWith Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 person
employeeOf Dillard University corporateBody
associatedWith Dooms, Paula Grissom. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dunbar, Paul Lawrence, 1872-1906 person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Eastman school of music corporateBody
associatedWith Howard University corporateBody
employeeOf Johns Hopkins University. Peabody Institute corporateBody
associatedWith Jones, Emory. person
associatedWith Library of Congress. Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation. corporateBody
employeeOf New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997) corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Oberlin College. Conservatory of Music corporateBody
associatedWith Payton, Jarae. person
associatedWith Perry, Kendria. person
associatedWith Piatigorsky, Gregor, 1903-1976 person
associatedWith Primrose, William person
associatedWith Rocco, Robert. person
associatedWith Rodgers, Jason. person
employeeOf Rutgers University corporateBody
associatedWith Scalero, Rosario person
associatedWith Serkin, Rudolf, 1903-1991 person
employeeOf Smith College. corporateBody
employeeOf University of Colorado (Boulder campus) corporateBody
associatedWith Winston-Salem State University Brass Ensemble. corporateBody
associatedWith Winston-Salem State University Choir. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Montclair NJ US
Washington, D. C. DC US
United States 00 US
Songs (High voice) with piano
Wind quintets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe)--Scores
Orchestral music--Scores
Variations (Piano)
African American composers
African Americans--Music
Quintets (Trumpets (2), horn, trombone, tuba)
Spirituals (Songs)
Songs with piano
Gospel music
Sonatas (piano)
Chorale preludes
Piano music
String orchestra music, Arranged--Scores
Organ music
African American musicians
Pulitzer Prizes
Izler Solomon Collection
Music teachers
College teachers


Birth 1922-06-27

Death 2018-08-23




Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fx7b1d

Ark ID: w6fx7b1d

SNAC ID: 9709321