In this 1995 release, John Walker, then director of music and organist at The Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, plays a varied and tuneful program upon the Shadyside organ, which, at that time, had just been thoroughly redesigned and renovated by the Reuter Organ Company.
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.