In this 1989 recording, John Walker, who was organist and choirmaster at The Riverside Church in the City of New York, plays the renown Aeolian-Skinner organ in the main sanctuary of The Riverside Church, in a program featuring the premiere recording of Ronald Arnatt's Pièce de Resistance, as well as classics by Mendelssohn, Vierne, Saint-Saëns and Jongen. He is also joined by harpist Lynne Aspnes in the Aria for harp and organ by Marcel Grandjany.
John Walker has been Director of Music and Organist at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh since 1992. He is also Adjunct Professor of Organ and Sacred Music at Duquesne University. In 1979 Dr. Walker joined the staff of The Riverside Church in New York City as Associate Musician, later assuming the position of Director of Music and Organist in 1983. During that time he was also Chair of the Department of Organ at Manhattan School of Music. Prior to his Riverside appointment he served as Organist at First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, California, and as Professor of Organ at San Jose State University.
John Walker has performed throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. He has performed frequently as soloist in Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where in 2002 he also performed the world premiere of Steven Mackey’s Pedal Tones. In 1999 he was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach and perform in Taiwan, where he presented recitals and classes and performed with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Uri Mayer and Wen-Ping Chien. As part of the millennium celebration he performed at the National Concert Hall in Taipei in a marathon concert which was telecast throughout Taiwan. He has performed in Seoul for the Korean Association of Organists.
While pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stanford University as a student of Herbert Nanney, John Walker served as Assistant University Organist and later as Acting University Organist. Earlier study in Chicago resulted in two master’s degrees and two bachelor’s degrees with honors from American Conservatory of Music, where he later became a faculty member. Dr. Walker is the 1984 alumni recipient of the Professional Achievement Award from Westminster College in Pennsylvania. In 1968 he became a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists.
Dr. Walker has served the American Guild of Organists in many capacities, including two terms as national Treasurer, Dean of chapters in New York City and San Jose, Coordinator of the Region III Convention in Pittsburgh, and Chair of the Committee on Regional Conventions. He was the first director of the Task Force on the New Organist, which established the highly-successful “Pipe Organ Encounters” to introduce young people to the organ.
The Riverside Church in the City of New York, New York USA WEBSITE
Catherine Burrell, DMA
12pp book, traycard, jewelbox
The American Organist “This interesting and unconventional program has obviously been planned to show off one of the world’s greatest organs to its optimum, as demonstrated by a master of performance ... the sonic effect has been splendidly captured by producer Frederick Hohman, who has somehow achieved a recording which obscures the lack of acoustical ambience in the huge Gothic-style building ... one must go far to find better of more elegant recorded performances ... This is certainly the recording one wants for an excellent demonstration of the organ, the music, and the artist.” - Arthur Lawrence