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NAXOS Records has released a CD of George Frederick McKay’s chamber music including several piano works relating to the jazz age, romantic period and 1930’s avant-garde era played by Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom, who was a student of McKay’s at a very young age at the University of Washington, Seattle. NAXOS has previously released a CD of Professor McKay’s Orchestral works performed by the National Symphony of Ukraine, John McLaughlin Williams conducting.
Leonard Slatkin has recorded George Frederick McKay’s Symphony with Chorus “To A Liberator” with the Nashville Symphony and Choir released by NAXOS in February 2009 for the Lincoln Bi-Centennial. WQXR, the New York Times classical station played McKay’s “Suite on 16th Century Hymn Tunes” on Thanksgiving Day 2008 (NAXOS 8.559225). McKay’s new release “Epoch: An American Dance Symphony” has been aired on seven NPR stations since its premiere in September 2008, and was the most downloaded CD on Classicsonline.com for several days, and in the top 10 for a full month. Epoch was also recently broadcast on Radio Australia. This work will next be heard on WUFT Florida on January 12 (Music of the 20 century series).
F. McKay <email@example.com>
McKay’s orchestral music was performed by conductors like Stokowski and Beecham during his lifetime. Three large works recently recorded by NAXOS, chamber music recordings due on NAXOS this year in the American Classics series. McKay was a musician’s musician, famous on the West Coast for teaching and encouragement of other composers. Professor of music at University of Washington, Seattle for 40 years. His students have won the Pulitzer Prize, and a Special Academy Award for composing. At one point in the 1950’s possibly the most published of serious American composers, McKay’s works include 70 orchestra pieces, several string quartets, many published band works, and a great variety of chamber works, including national prize-winning pieces in the area of harp, piano, and woodwinds. Identified closely with the use of multi-cultural folk themes, including Native American songs and dances. Author of books on Orchestration and Harmony. Was commissioned for orchestra works by Indianapolis Symphony, Seattle Symphony and others. He conducted the Seattle Symphony on several occasions and his works have been performed by the symphony at least 15 times, including April of 2001, when Richard Hickox presented McKay’s Violin Concerto at Benaroya Hall.
(Contribution by Fred <firstname.lastname@example.org>)