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The Seattle Symphony Releases Live Performances Of Works By George Walker And William L. Dawson

These deeply expressive scores take inspiration from a variety of sources, including Negro spirituals, jazz harmonies and modernist traditions.

The Seattle Symphony Releases Live Performances Of Works By George Walker And William L. Dawson

The Seattle Symphony releases powerful, live performances of works by two brilliant American composers, William L. Dawson and Pulitzer Prize winner George Walker, available worldwide on February 10, 2023.

These deeply expressive scores take inspiration from a variety of sources, including Negro spirituals, jazz harmonies and modernist traditions. Performed by the Seattle Symphony and recorded in the stunning acoustics of Benaroya Hall, this album features Asher Fisch conducting Walker's pieces, and conductor Roderick Cox leading the Symphony for Dawson's work.

Seattle Symphony. Walker and Dawson, now renowned for their impactful and critically acclaimed contributions to classical music, were once historically underrepresented in the canon of symphony music. Dawson's Negro Folk Symphony premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1934, but the piece received few performances following its initial release and, unfortunately, remained the composer's one and only symphony. In part due to conductor Roderick Cox's efforts, Negro Folk Symphony is making a monumental return to concert hall stages, allowing audiences a chance to listen to Dawson's one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Walker also struggled to secure the necessary follow-up performances needed to jumpstart his career, telling The New York Times, "Without the sustained effect of follow-up concerts my career had no momentum. And because I was Black, I couldn't get either major or minor dates." Walker composed music for nearly three quarters of a century before eventually finding success, even winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996. Still, his work went underperformed and under-recorded for much of his life. The Seattle Symphony brings these important composers' legacies to the forefront in this album, highlighting the unique kinds of stories that both tell through their music; whether it be a recollection of an enormous internal journey, like Walker's elegiac, deeply personal pieces, or a massive historical epic, like Dawson's Negro Folk Symphony.

Seattle Symphony Media proudly shares the legacy of George Walker and William L. Dawson and their powerful, definitive works with listeners everywhere. Digital downloads and CDs are available through all major online music retailers and streaming services, and will be available worldwide on February 10, 2023. This recording is also available in an immaculate, 5.1 digital surround version engineered by the 2017 Grammy Award winner for Best Surround Sound and 2021 Grammy Award nominee for Producer of the Year, Classical, Dmitriy Lipay.



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