George Spicka

Composer • Pianist • BCF Archivist

Pianist GEORGE F. SPICKA has composed over 600 diverse works ranging from jazz, to electro-acoustic, to chamber and contemporary classical, music for worship and educational purposes. A member of the Baltimore Composers Forum since 1994, he has debuted and performed over two-dozen new works.
He has been showcased in New York twice under the sponsorship of American Music Center’s NewMusicBox editor, Frank Oteri.
His 1988 composition, Free Fall, was used as the theme music for the Maryland Public Television produced TV commercials, promoting the 2008 Baltimore Free Fall Festival.
He conceived and organized the First Annual Baltimore Jazz Composers Showcase, which was held on October 23, 2005, at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Center and Cultural Center. This event was the subject of a feature article in the Baltimore Sun by writer Carl Schoettler. In May of 2005, he debuted an original composition on Maryland Public Television’s Artworks This Week, as part of the promotion for a Baltimore Composers Forum concert. He returned to the station in October 2005 to perform another composition, Emerald Raindrops, which was featured in the First Annual Baltimore Jazz Composers Showcase.

He was commissioned by Heritage Theatre Artists’ Consortium to write original music for the June/July 2005 world premiere of the play, “Levy’s Ghost”, by Lewis Schrager and directed by Harriet Lynn that was produced aboard the USS Constellation in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.The play has been featured on Maryland Public Television’s “Artworks This Week,” Fox-45 TV, and reviewed by the Baltimore Sun.
In 1987, he founded JAZZ STREET STATION, an ensemble that performs the work of Greater Metropolitan Baltimore area jazz composers. In 1994, he engineered and produced the ensemble’s debut CD, “The Rhythm Of Love,” which was selected to appear on the 1994 Grammy Nominations Ballot and nominated for a Washington Area Music Association award in the contemporary jazz category. In the summer of 2000, “Flashback,” one of his compositions from this CD, achieved the rank of #13 out of 800 listings in the jazz vocalist genre competition.
Under his leadership as Artist Director and pianist, the group performed over six dozen concerts throughout the Mid-Atlantic region including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Oregon Ridge Park, Blues Alley, Baltimore Museum of Art, Wilmington Cityfest, King of France Tavern, Walters’ Art Gallery, Frederick Festival of the Arts, Charleston Jazz Series and the Shore Jazz Society. The group was selected as Round 3 Semifinalists in Musicians Magazine’s “1996 Best Unsigned Band Competition,” the only jazz group from Maryland in over 3,000 entries nationwide. 1996 saw the release of the CD single, “Go Home/Ride Me Home” by him and his late wife’s original music roots rock band, “Jane Lamar & Snidley’s Daughter,” which received extensive acclaim and airplay in Europe. The same year, he performed for 6 weeks as the on stage pianist in Center Stage’s production of Noel Cowards’ Private Lives. In 1997, they entered into a publishing agreement with Transition Music, (Hollywood) and subsequently have had a song placed in the New Image Entertainment film production, “October 22nd.” 2002 saw his debut of his eleven-movement piece, The St. Petersburg Suite, as part of Baltimore’s Vivat! St. Petersburg Festival, to much acclaim.

Honors: A former resident of Silver Spring, MD, he was nominated for the D.C. Mayor’s Award for “Outstanding Emerging Artist.” That same year, he was a finalist in American Mensa’s “Arthur SIG Exchequer Award” for artistic excellence. He competed in the First Annual Theolonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and has been awarded two music composition grants by the Maryland State Arts Council for demonstrating “exceptional creativity and originality.” He performed as a solo pianist for the Honorable John Conyers (D-Mich) and the Congressional Black Caucus, and was featured as a performer/panelist at the D.C. Federation of Musicians Jazz Symposium. His biography is listed in Who’s Who in the East and 2000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century.

Education: He attended the University of Maryland as a Music Education Major. He has studied improvisation and composition privately with internationally acclaimed jazz pianists/composers Jessica Williams and Marc Copeland, and studied composition and orchestration with 20th Century composer John Stevens, himself a student of Pierre Boulez.

Media: His activities have been highlighted in International Musician, the National Jazz Service Organization Jazz Journal, Music Monthly, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore City Paper, Alive magazine, and All That Jazz. He has performed on Fox 45’s Morning News and twice on Maryland Public Television. Radio features have included WBJC, WJHU, WEAA, WPFW and WTRI.

Organizations: He currently holds membership in the following: American Music Center, Sebelius Music, American Federation of Musicians (locals 40-543/161-710), Broadcast Music Inc.(BMI), American Mensa, Baltimore Composers Forum (President/Vice-President/Secretary/Composer/Pianist/Recording Archivist), Baltimore Jazz Alliance (Life Member), Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and the Baltimore Songwriters Association. |

7/11/20 Also see: The Baltimore Composers Forum Interviews George Spicka