Taiwan with Cho-Liang Lin: Chin-Ai Elementary School

I’m on a high from today. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to describe the emotions that accompanied the day’s events, but I can certainly describe what happened.

First, a little background: Our recital tour is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Taiwan.  Outreach and education are as important to them (and to us!) as traditional concerts, so that was always built in as part of the tour. In the meantime, Mercedes G-Class (4 wheel drive) owners have formed a club, wherein the members get together every few months and take an adventurous driving excursion somewhere in Taiwan.

Enter Aowanda National Forest, nestled in the mountains in the center of Taiwan. It’s home to a largely aboriginal community, with a school uniquely appropriate for Cho-Liang Lin to make an appearance (more on that later.) There’s also a lodge for the enthusiastic Mercedes G-Class owners to stay. Continue reading

Taiwan: Canadian Pianists Unite!

Jackie and Louis

I’ve been fortunate over the years to keep in touch with my Canadian pianistic colleagues, most notably through Janina Fialkowska’s founding of Piano Six many years ago. Although the main purpose of the project (and its successor Piano Plus) was for us to individually bring music to smaller communities in Canada, one of the most fun parts of that project was the occasional multi-piano Gala, in which the two of us shared the stage with Angela Cheng, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, and André Laplante. Continue reading

Taiwan with Cho-Liang Lin: the Press Conference

Jimmy Lin blushing at JKP's effusive compliments

Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin is a rock star in Taiwan. I had suspected this was the case even prior to our arrival here, but today’s press conference definitely proved the point.

I’ve been interviewed many times in my life, but it’s an entirely different ballgame to face a phalanx of reporters with cameras, video cameras, and digital recorders capturing your every twitch.

Each of us made a statement. A representative of Mercedes Benz spoke of an important part of this tour: educational and outreach concerts, including a special performance for aboriginal students at Chin-Ai Elementary School in Nantou County. Continue reading

Announcing “Concerto Chat” with Jon Kimura Parker!

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.

Japan relief concerts announced

I am pleased to announce my participation in two wonderful concerts being organized to raise funds to send money to Japan.

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

Minnesota Orchestra booms with Rachmaninoff

By David Hawley Special to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press

If the movie “Shine” introduced you to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, be advised that Jon Kimura Parker did not lose his sanity when he performed it Thursday with the Minnesota Orchestra.

And if you’re old enough to remember the Cold War, be advised that nobody bellowed “communist propaganda!” during conductor Andrew Litton’s reading of Shostak-ovich’s Symphony No. 12, subtitled “The Year 1917” to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution.

The program, which gets its final performance tonight, is a particularly luscious and compelling one, since neither of its big works are heard that often, particularly the symphony, in a live performance. And if it’s big sounds you want, this is your… Continue reading

Last-minute pianist was key to fine CSO performance

Kyle MacMillan, Denver Post

Horacio Gutierrez is certainly a fine pianist. But he is also prone to cancellations, as his spotty attendance record in Denver makes all too clear.

When the Colorado Symphony announced last week he would not be able to perform his two concerts this weekend because of illness, it was his third missed engagement here in less than a decade.

Fortunately, though, the orchestra was able to secure the last-minute services of Jon Kimura Parker. And Saturday evening, he brought his reliably high-caliber playing to Ludwig van Beethoven’s well-known Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58. Continue reading

Mozart Festival: A Little Night Music with Jon Kimura Parker

Friday, Nov 5 2010

Bob Clark, Calgary Herald

The music of Mozart from near the beginning of his career to very close to the end was the focus of a Calgary Philharmonic program on Thursday at Jack Singer Concert Hall that clearly made Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker a close runner-up to the composer in audience affections.

The Mozart Festival concert began, singularly enough, with a performance of the famous Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K.545  – performed the way many of us tried in vain to play as piano students (and many a long-suffering teacher wished we had).

The flash of liquid scales in the opening Allegro, the finely expressive playing in the ensuing Andante, and a sense of playfulness that came with a hint of drama in the final Rondo – it all sounded so wonderfully intimate coming from the splendid fortepiano lent for the occasion by the University of Calgary.

“I’ve never played on a fortepiano before,” Parker told us from the stage immediately after he had finished playing the piece – much to our astonishment and amusement. Furthermore, he added, “I’ve actually never played that sonata before. I must be the only pianist who never played it as a kid.” Continue reading

At the TSO, Samuel Barber is no longer edgy, but full of life

Music: Concert Review

KEN WINTERS From Friday’s Globe and Mail Published Thursday, Oct. 07, 2010 2:53PM EDT

At Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Wednesday An evening of the music of that gentle American Samuel Barber may not, in prospect, set your blood pumping. But in reality, with the right program and the right people to bring it all to life, as we heard Wednesday night, it can provide some distinctive and touching musical satisfactions, and even some robust excitements. Continue reading

Toronto Symphony serves up blazing birthday cake to Samuel Barber

Published On Wed Oct 06 2010

Composer Samuel BarberComposer Samuel Barber

By John Terauds Entertainment Reporter

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

(out of 4)

With violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. Peter Oundjian, conductor. Repeats Thursday. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. 416-598-3375 ( www.tso.ca)

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 100th birthday cake for composer Samuel Barber was a blaze of candles on Wednesday night at Roy Thomson Hall.

The evening, entirely devoted to the music of this American master, was a succession of Wow! moments from an intensely atmospheric beginning to a blazing end. Continue reading


"Jon Kimura Parker...Has never performed as intimately and imaginatively in Portland as he did Sunday. Parker played like a one-man orchestra, calling forth different colors and textures as the music required."
-The Oregonian


"Fantasy is not just a technical showcase, but a big, clear picture window of a musician with a rich soul and great artistic depth. It is also a fantastic example of programming that entertains as well as edifies.”
-Musical Toronto

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