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Skidmore College

Sterne Virtuoso Series continues with Jon Kumura Parker

February 24, 2014
Jon Kimura Parker
Jon Kimura Parker

One of the world’s top pianists, Jon Kimura Parker, will celebrate the centenary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in concert Sunday, March 2, at Skidmore College’s Arthur Zankel Music Center. Part of Skidmore’s Sterne Virtuoso Series, the event begins at 2 p.m.

Parker’s Skidmore program includes his own solo piano transcription of the Stravinsky masterpiece; as well as the “Appassionata” sonata (Sonata in F minor, Op. 57) by Beethoven; “Impromptu” in B-flat Major, Op. 142, No. 3, by Schubert; and Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in E Major, Op. 32, No. 3 and Prelude in B-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 2.

Tickets for the performance are $8 adults, $5 seniors/Skidmore community, free for students and children. Please click here to reserve tickets.

According to the biography posted on his web site, Parker is a veteran of the international concert stage who has served 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. He recently worked with conductors David Afkham, Pablo Heras-Cassado, Claus Peter Flor, Jeffrey Kahane, Carlos Kalmar, and Pinchas Zukerman, among others. A true Canadian ambassador of music, he 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. As a member of the outreach project Piano Plus, Parker toured remote areas including the Canadian Arctic, performing classical and rock music 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.

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 will appear 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, 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, New York University, and Yale University. He 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.

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 this year.

For advance reservations click here or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.

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