George Walker at Mannes

George Walker’s music was heard at the Mannes Beethoven Institute recently, and you can read reviews of the performances at The New Criterion and the NY Times.

I will be teaching a graduate seminar on piano music since 1945 this fall at Penn, and I plan to include one of Walker’s sonatas on the syllabus. He is a virtuoso pianist as well as an excellent composer, so his piano music is of special interest. I was intrigued to read in the New Criterion piece an explanation for the remarkable second movement of Walker’s Sonata No. 3, which is built on a single chord played played 17 times, with various dynamics and durations: it was inspired by a bell Walker heard when in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, on Lake Como.