As Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Jon Kimura Parker has to strike a balance between his performance schedule and his class. LizPR asks how he does it:
LizPR: How did you come to teaching as part of your career? JKP: It’s natural to teach the occasional master class here and there while on the road, and I’ve always enjoyed the chance to get closer to a musical community where I am performing. But taking on a class of students is another matter entirely. Each has particular strengths, specific areas for growth, different responses to different styles of teaching, and a wide range of potential. It’s a huge responsibility as I am really the guardian of their musical growth. Continue reading
By any measure the 2010-2011 season will be an extraordinary one for Jon Kimura Parker. Ask any pianist to name the top five difficult piano concerti, and chances are you will see Rachmaninoff 3rd, Brahms 2nd, and Barber on that list. Imagine performing all three in one season, and adding everything from Tchaikovsky 1 and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, to Grieg, Mozart 27, and Beethoven’s “Emperor.” It’s not hard to see why Jon Kimura Parker has earned the nickname “Concerto Man.”
LizPR sat down to speak with Jackie about this daunting schedule.
LizPR: Are you out of your mind? How does this kind of schedule happen? JKP: It can come about in many ways. First of all, orchestras are much more selective about programming than they used to be. You’re less likely to see “Subscription Series No. 7” and more likely to see, for example, “Made in America,” which pretty much implies the Gershwin or Barber concerti, at least in terms of mainstream repertoire. If my concerts fall on Valentine’s Day weekend, I’m often asked for Rachmaninoff 2nd, or perhaps Mozart 21 (which famously added atmosphere to a romantic movie that apparently nobody’s ever seen: “Elvira Madigan.”) Continue reading