A “Play by Play” of a New York Premiere

With Cho-Liang Lin and William VerMeulen backstage at Alice Tully Hall

Today Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin and I are performing Paul Schoenfield’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in its New York Premiere performance in the wonderfully improved Alice Tully Hall. The program includes the Brahms Horn Trio with our esteemed horn colleague, William “Bill” VerMeulen. The Sonata is a New York premiere, but not quite the World Premiere – that honor went to the La Jolla Summerfest last August. The Sonata is the result of a joint premiering program by the LaJolla Summerfest and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

So which would be the better performance to attend? The World Premiere, with its freshness bursting from the players, or the New York Premiere, eight months longer in the tooth, but with a notch of experience on the belt?

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Various Reviews

APR 26, 2010 Parker, Ling Take Beethoven to New Heights

NOV 15, 2009 Jon Kimura Parker Shines from Beethoven to Billy Joel Scena

JUL 23, 2009 Pianist Jon Kimura Parker and violinist James Ehnes perform in one of finest concerts of the year Toronto Star

JUN 22, 2009 Rains fail to dampen fervor of Grant Park’s Burnham premiere Chicago Tribune

JUN 20, 2009 With unplanned weather, Torke’s “Plans” receives ardent if soggy premiere Chicago Classical Review

MAY 23, 2009 San Diego Symphony finely attuned to Gershwin San Diego News Network

DEC 8,  2008 Harrell, Parker show is tops; THE BEST: Recital was the most beautiful performance in 20 years. Anchorage Daily News

NOV 14, 2008 Symphony shines on Russian… Continue reading

Parker, Ling take Beethoven to new heights

Jon Kimura Parker performs with the San Diego Symphony during the Beethoven Festival on Saturday night at Copley Symphony Hall.

REVIEW | 04.26.10 | By James Chute,  | San Diego Union-Tribune Arts Editor The last time Jon Kimura Parker was in town, it was for the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, when he put on a Star Trek uniform, joined in a multipianist version of the theme from the iconic TV show, and even did a memorable impression of McCoy, exclaiming, “Dammit Jim, I’m a concert pianist, not a …”

Saturday at Copley Symphony Hall for the belated opening of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival, Parker boldly went where few men have gone before, substituting for an ailing Yefim Bronfman.

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William Hirtz’s Fantasy on “Wizard of Oz”

Jon Kimura Parker and William Hirtz

My friend and colleague, the composer William Hirtz, can work pianistic miracles out of harmony, rhythm and texture. Several years ago he showed me a piano duet Fantasy that he had composed using several of Harold Arlen’s iconic themes from the “Wizard of Oz” soundtrack. It was joyous, technically raucous, and seemingly featured dozens of notes all at once. I jokingly commented that I if he could arrange this Fantasy for one piano two hands, I would happily play it. I thought nothing more about it.

Fast forward several months: one day my fax machine started up and several insanely dotted pages spewed forth. I recognized the music – it was indeed the Fantasy… Continue reading

Andrew Staupe wins Shepherd School Concerto Competition

Andrew Staupe

Doctoral piano student Andrew Staupe wins the Shepherd School Concerto Competition with Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3! Competing first in a day filled with exemplary concerto performances, Andrew gave it his all. He will perform “Rach 3” with the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra in the 2010-2011 season.

Judy Park performs Bartok Concerto No. 3

Judy Park

By James McQuillen, Special to The Oregonian

March 20, 2010, 12:35PM

In ten seasons with the semi-pro Portland Columbia Symphony, conductor Huw Edwards has improved the ensemble’s sound and broadened its range with challenging programming. Friday night’s concert presented a typically ambitious pairing worthy of any major orchestra – Béla Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, the powerful “Pathétique” – in an uneven but ultimately winning performance.

Former Portland piano wunderkind Judy Park, a prominent figure in the city’s youth music scene now studying with Jon Kimura Parker at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, returned as guest soloist in the Bartók, bringing her strength, precision and candor. She crunched the opening… Continue reading

Andrew Staupe, Jeewon Lee take honors at Young Texas Artists Competition

Arts & Entertainment Young Texas Artists Music Competition News Release Monday, March 15, 2010

26th Annual Young Texas Artists Music Competition Winners Announced at ENTERGY Finalists’ Concert & Awards

CONROE, TEXAS – Conroe’s historic Crighton Theatre was host to the Entergy Finalists’ Concert & Awards on Saturday evening, March 13. Finalists in the 26th Annual Young Texas Artists Music Competition, presented by the Montgomery County Performing Arts Society, dazzled concert attendees with technique, poise and tremendous musical talent. Winners, selected by five distinguished judges and one audience favorite, received awards totaling $21,000.

Musical artists from Rice University Shepherd School of Music made a clean sweep, winning all first place positions in every category plus the grand prize. Winners in each category are: Sarah Mesko, mezzo-soprano and grand prize winner in Voice; Andrew Staupe in Piano; Aaron Perdue on flute in Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp, and Guitar; and Luke Hsu on violin in Strings. Continue reading

Mentoring Brilliant Young Talent

Dr. Parker coaching Lucy Chang at Rice University

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

The Adventures of Concerto Man!

Concerto Man!

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

Richard Marshall: From Toccatas to the Tomb

Richard Marshall

Master’s Student Richard Marshall perfomed a recital today that including the fiendishly difficult Schumann Toccata, Ravel’s less-well-known suite Le Tombeau de Couperin, Chopin’s texturally challenging Ballade No. 4, and finished with the Barber Sonata. Programs don’t get much more difficult than this!

Very few pianists tackle the Ravel Tombeau, but Richard has the fierce technique required, and also a delicate touch and an ear for color. Even fewer pianists tackle the Schumann Toccata, myself included…


"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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