Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

George Frederick McKay

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

George Frederick McKay (June 11, 1899 – October 4, 1970) was a prolific modern American composer.

George Frederick McKay’s music, recently recorded by Grammy-Winning artists Leonard Slatkin, William Bolcom and John McLaughlin Williams on NAXOS Records, emerges from the Far West of North America carrying a vigorous blend of influences, including Civil War Era folksongs sung to him by his grandparents; old Fiddlers’ Tunes handed down in the family; Northwest Native American Songs and Dances, and Avant-Garde satire from the Seattle urban scene (More early works can be heard at http://www. myspace.com/alleydanceakagfmckay). His range of musical expression encompasses Symphonies, Chamber Works, Songs, Band Pieces, Woodwind Ensembles, Harp compositions, Organ music, Cantatas, Musical Plays, Modern Dance, and Jazzy Piano pieces. Literally hundreds of these works were published and performed worldwide during his lifetime. Much of his Jazz influenced music was composed in his younger days in Seattle. Later he studied with the Scandinavian composers Selim Palmgren and Christian Sinding at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and was influenced toward using folk-music and evocative melodic content in his compositions. In 1923 McKay became the first graduate in Composition at Eastman. One clear memory from McKay’s childhood was listening to a hometown bandstand performance by John Philip Sousa’s traveling ensemble; forty years later his music was on the concert program at the Smithsonian along with Sousa’s, completing a generational cycle.

Top Albums

Listening Trend

1,159listeners all time
3,079scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.
  • composer1

    You Tube video of McKay Organ work "Carillon for A Joyful Day" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKS3vbT8Dqc&feature=related from Benedictions Suite.

    25 Jan 2011 Reply
  • composer1

    Official website for American composer George Frederick McKay is www.georgefrederickmckaymusic.net

    13 Jun 2010 Reply
  • composer1

    The conductor of George Frederick McKay's first two orchestral albums on NAXOS Records, John McLaughlin Williams, has won a Grammy and has been nominated again this year for an album of music by the composers Bloch and Lees.

    20 Jan 2009 Reply
  • composer1

    Several McKay Jazz Age Tunes in novelty digital style can be heard at http://www.myspace.com/alleydanceakagfmckay

    17 Dec 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    McKay's Symphonic Work with Chorus "To A Liberator" will be released in February 2009 on a special NAXOS CD celebrating the Lincoln Bi-Centennial, conducted by Leonard Slatkin with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. A live performance was presented in the summer of 2008.

    8 Dec 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    Conductors who have presented McKay's music: Leopold Stokowski Sir Thomas Beecham Richard Hickox Arthur Fiedler Howard Hanson Arthur Benjamin Karl Krueger Fabien Sevitsky Milton Katims Carmen Dragon John McLaughlin Williams Paul Lemay Frederick Fennell Stanley Chapple Dr. Richard Bales John Nardolillo Stephan Sanderling Joseph Curiale

    8 Dec 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    Radio Australia (ABC Classical) will broadcast George Frederick McKay's Epoch Symphony, Pastoral Movement with choir on 12/30/08. The 4 PM program also includes music of Gershwin, Orff (Carmina Burana) and Vivaldi. Epoch was released on NAXOS CD 8.559330 in September 2008, and has received very positive reviews from critics including Richard Freed, who writes music reviews for the New York Times and other publications.

    8 Dec 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    WQXR, the New York Times Classical Music Station will broadcast George Frederick McKay's "Suite on 16th Hymn Tunes" on Thanksgiving Day in New York City at 9:41 am Eastern Time Zone USA. WQXR has broadcast many of McKay's symphonic works on national holidays in recent years.

    27 Nov 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    Radio Australia (classical) will broadcast George Frederick McKay's "Suite on 16th Century Hymn Tunes" on the afternoon of November 28, 2008.

    28 Oct 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    Have noticed the first USA radio broadcasts of the McKay "Epoch" CD at WGTE Ohio, WCMU Michigan, and WDAV Charlotte.The recording is picking up a following in the area of choral music too, as indicated by some very high Amazon,com rankings in the "choir" category. WDAV presented Epoch in their new recordings segment and printed the cover image on their website on October 24th. George Frederick McKay's early symphonies based on Northwest culture have been commemorated with engraved walkway bricks in the new Statue of Liberty Park on the waterfront of the Alki District in Seattle, near the landing place of the first pioneers in the 1850's. McKay was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and civic groups to compose Evocation Symphony for the Seattle Centennial in 1951-52.

    28 Oct 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    George Frederick McKay's "Rondolet" from Suite On Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes for orchestra has been very recently featured on several broadcasts by German National Radio through the "Figaro" program. Other national networks airing McKay's pieces are in Belgium, Sweden, France, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Brazil, and the Minnesota MPR network with 250 outlets in the USA and other countries.

    20 Oct 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    A new book concerning the life and times of American composer George Frederick McKay has been released: "McKay's Music: The Composer Chronicles" ISBN 0-615-16589-9. This volume is currently available through Amazon.com USA and other internet sources. Unique features of the book include literal excerpts from McKay's journal, and the first English translations of letters from his teacher at Eastman School of Music, Christian Sinding of Norway.

    8 Oct 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    A very favorable new review of George Frederick McKay's "Epoch: An American Dance Symphony" can be read at Classicstoday.com. Other reviews of McKay recordings are available at MusicWeb International, Fanfare Magazine and BBC Magazine. The French Magazine Diapason gave a "four star rating" and a recommendation to McKay's first album (8.559052) from 1999, which contains "Harbor Narrative" and "From A Moonlit Ceremony", plus the "Evocation Symphony".

    8 Oct 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    George Frederick McKay's "Epoch: An American Dance Symphony" album was the #1 downloaded cd on Classicsonline.com for several days in September, its debut month, and it finished #3 in the world for the entire first month, a smashing success for a "lesser-known artist". The hardcopy cd has now been released for sale in the USA and Europe. McKay's music has been consistently popular in France and Canada in recent years, and is broadcast on NPR and commercial stations very frequently in the USA. Recent broadcasts of McKay's music have been heard on the National Radio networks of Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Australia also.

    5 Oct 2008 Reply
  • composer1

    NAXOS has announced the September 2008 release of George Frederick McKay's third symphonic cd on their label: "Epoch: An American Dance Symphony," (8.559330) which features a full 60 minute work with four symphonic movements, ranging from romantic to raging satirical jazz and blues. The piece features a dynamic and colorful finale titled "Machine Age Blues" which is dedicated to the spirit of the poet Carl Sandburg and the impending dangers of the industrial age. The cd was recorded by the University of Kentucky Symphony and Women's Chorus, conducted by John Nardolillo. Producing engineer was Grammy winner Tim Handley of London. Mr. Nardolillo currently conducts major symphonies around the United States in presenting the Arlo Guthrie concert series.

    14 Aug 2008 Reply

Top Listeners