by Jacob Strauss
It is the composer George Walker’s centennial this year, and on October 9, pianist Alexandre Dossin — performing in Cleveland for the first time — gave a concert featuring the composer’s work through six decades at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium. The performance was part of the Tri-C Classical Piano series.
As a Black musician of the 20th century, Walker experienced a life of firsts. Among many other distinguished accomplishments throughout his career, he was the first Black musician to perform as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first Black tenured professor at Smith College, and in 1996 became the first Black composer to receive the Pulitzer Prize In Music.