CCPA Alumnus William Garfield Walker

Roosevelt University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts are delighted to share that alumni William Garfield Walker has won the 2023 first place prize in Conducting (Professional Orchestra Division) from the American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts. William graduated from the Chicago College of Performing Arts in 2015 with a bachelor’s of arts in cello performance, as well as independent studies in conducting, and additional studies in music theory, solfege, analysis and piano. 

Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, William began playing cello at the age of 13. By the time he was 16, William was performing with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Today, he is a Classical Composer and Conductor currently based in Vienna, Austria. There, he serves as the Chief Conductor for the Nova Orchester Wien (NOW!). In 2020, Walker and NOW! performed a digital concert for the 2020 G20 economic forum. That same year, the Mississippi House of Representatives and Mississippi Senate unanimously passed a Resolution honoring Walker for his musical achievements. William also serves as a conductor at Vienna’s Universal Edition AG, a classical musical publishing firm founded in 1901.  

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is “the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts.” Founded in 2010, the American Prize was designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, directors, ensembles and composers in the United States at professional, college/university, community and high school levels.” 

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