“What an amazing way to mark the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring. Stunning!” These words from the Toronto Star echoed glowing reviews across North America for Jon Kimura Parker’s recent CD, Rite, which includes world premiere recordings of his solo piano transcriptions of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Petrouchka. Mr. Parker also celebrates this special centenary with recitals throughout 2014.
A veteran of the international concert stage, Jon Kimura Parker has performed as guest soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Wolfgang Sawallisch in Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Andre Previn, and shared the stage with Jessye Norman at Berlin’s Philharmonie. Conductors he has recently worked with include David Afkham, Pablo Heras-Cassado, Claus Peter Flor, Jeffrey Kahane, Carlos Kalmar, Peter Oundjian, Larry Rachleff, Xu Zhong and Pinchas Zukerman. A true Canadian ambassador of music, Mr. Parker has given command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan. He is an Officer of The Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian honor.
He performs as duo partner regularly with James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Orli Shaham, and Cho-Liang Lin, with whom he has given world premieres of sonatas by Paul Schoenfield, John Harbison and Steven Stucky. An unusually versatile artist, Mr. Parker has also jammed with Audra McDonald, Bobby McFerrin and Doc Severinsen. As a member of the outreach project Piano Plus, Mr. Parker toured remote areas including the Canadian Arctic, performing classical music and rock’n’roll on everything from upright pianos to electronic keyboards. In commemoration of his special performances in war-torn Sarajevo in 1995, he was a featured speaker alongside humanitarians Elie Wiesel and Paul Rusesabagina at the 50th Anniversary of the relief organization AmeriCares.
An active media personality, Mr. Parker hosted the television series Whole Notes on Bravo! and CBC Radio’s Up and Coming. His YouTube channel features the Concerto Chat video series, with illuminating discussions of the piano concerto repertoire.
Last season Mr. Parker appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and toured the United States with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He also had the honor of being the last guest pianist to work with the Tokyo String Quartet in their final season.
Highlights of this season include solo appearances with the St. Louis Symphony with David Robertson, the San Diego Symphony with Jahja Ling, the Seattle Symphony with Ludovic Morlot, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra with Larry Rachleff, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra with Hannu Lintu. He appears at the Hong Kong Festival with Gary Hoffman, Vadim Repin and Joyce Yang, and begins two major chamber music collaborations, with the Miró Quartet, and in a trio with violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith.
A committed educator, Jon Kimura Parker is Professor of Piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. His students have won international piano competitions, performed with major orchestras across the U.S., and given recitals in Amsterdam, Beijing, New York and Moscow. He has lectured at The Juilliard School, The Steans Institute, New York University, and Yale University. Mr. Parker is also Artistic Advisor of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, where he has given world premieres of new works by Peter Schickele and Jake Heggie.
Jon Kimura Parker has recorded music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Chopin and PDQ Bach for Telarc, Mozart for CBC, and Stravinsky under his own label. His new recording, Fantasy, featuring not only the Schubert Wanderer Fantasy and the Schumann Fantasy but also William Hirtz’s brilliant fantasy on themes from The Wizard of Oz, is scheduled for release in early 2014.
“Jackie” Parker studied with Edward Parker and Keiko Parker privately, Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School. He won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition. He lives in Houston with his wife, violinist Aloysia Friedmann and their daughter Sophie. For further information, please see www.jonkimuraparker.com and www.oicmf.org.