Jon Kimura Parker may be an internationally acclaimed concert pianist, but that doesn’t mean he’s above rocking out to Rush or humming a little Taylor Swift. In this week’s Lessons Learned, Parker, whose current projects include working on a solo transcription of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, talks about the two pianists who changed his life, his biggest challenge and his new-found appreciation of NFL football. Continue reading
This series of short videos features interviews, short demonstrations, and colorful anecdotes on each of the piano concertos in Jon Kimura Parker’s active performing repertoire. Hear the story of performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto in war-torn Sarajevo, the impromptu piano lesson while standing on New York’s Broadway St., and the bug that almost brought a halt to a Hollywood Bowl concert! Designed to complement orchestra marketing campaigns, these videos have already been featured on the web sites of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and other major orchestras.
On Monday, Apr 4, 2011 at 8pm in Stude Concert Hall at Rice University in Houston, TX, I am playing and conducting Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 with musicians from the Shepherd School of Music and the River Oak Chamber Orchestra. Please make checks payable to the Japanese Association of Greater Houston. Raised funds go directly to the Japanese Red Cross.
On Tuesday, Apr 19 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, Canada, I am playing and conducting Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 with musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Tonari Gumi (the Japanese Community Volunteers Association) will distribute funds… Continue reading
Samuel Barber: Toronto Symphony prepares sweet 100 party – American composer best known for his Adagio for Strings
The American composer Samuel Barber would have turned100 this year, had he lived past 1981. By John Terauds Entertainment Reporter
It’s been 72 years since the world first heard the Adagio for Strings by American composer Samuel Barber. The slow, melancholy piece immediately became a musical icon, much like the opening to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 or A Little Night Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
While the other two composers are cornerstones of the classical repertoire, much of Barber’s output is the purview of ardent fans, not the general public.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and music director Peter Oundjian are aiming to change that perception on Wednesday Oct. 6 and Thursday Oct. 7 at Roy Thomson Hall, in a program billed as The Best of Barber. It’s in honour of the composer’s 100th birthday, which falls this year (he died in 1981).
The big anniversary prompted Oundjian to invite two top soloists. Gil Shaham is tackling the gorgeously melodic Violin Concerto and Canada’s Jon Kimura Parker is playing the brash, angular Piano Concerto. Also on the bill is the Symphony No. 1, filled with lush, swelling string sounds and woodwind solos, and of course, the Adagio for Strings to open the program. Continue reading