Pianist Jon Kimura Parker is known for his charisma, enthusiasm, and dynamic performances. A veteran of the international concert stage, he has performed regularly in the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, London’s South Bank, the Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Concert Hall. He is the Creative Partner of the Minnesota Orchestra, having hosted and given seven concerto performances with them in July 2021 with Osmo Vänska, Karina Canellakis, and Ken-David Masur. He is the Artistic Director of the Honens International Piano Competition and Artistic Advisor for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Highlights of Jon Kimura Parker’s 2021-22 season include concerto appearances with the Phoenix, Peninsula, San Antonio, Rhode Island, and Kansas City orchestras, a special appearance with the Galilee Chamber Orchestra in Toronto, recitals at series including Portland Piano International, and performances with Cho-Liang Lin at Chamber Music International in Dallas, and with Paul Huang at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. He also tours as a member of the Montrose Trio, which he founded with Martin Beaver and Clive Greensmith.
A collaborator in a wide variety of styles, Jon Kimura Parker has performed with Doc Severinsen, Audra McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, Pablo Ziegler, and Sanjaya Malakar. As a founding member of Off the Score, he also performed with Stewart Copeland – the legendary drummer of The Police – for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s 20th Anniversary Season, featuring his own arrangements of music by Prokofiev, Ravel and Stravinsky. He has accompanied Frederica von Stade, Susan Graham, and Luca Pisaroni in recital.
A committed educator, Mr. Parker is a Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. His students have won prizes in major competitions internationally, and given concerto performances in the US, Europe, Russia and China. He has also lectured at The Juilliard School, and given master classes at Yale. This season he also chaired the jury of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.
Parker’s discography of a dozen albums features music ranging from Mozart and Chopin to Barber, Stravinsky and John Adams. His most recent recording “Fantasy,” built around Hirtz’s Wizard of Oz Fantasy, was described by Musical Toronto as giving “a big, clear picture window of a rich soul and great artistic depth.” His YouTube channel features a series of Concerto Chat videos, which explore the piano concerto repertoire. In addition, his Whole Notes series, featuring performances of great composers, is available on Amazon Prime Video. He is now recording master class videos for Tonebase, on major works of the piano concerto repertoire.
Jon Kimura Parker studied with Edward Parker and Keiko Parker, Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School. Winner of the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition, Parker is an Officer of The Order of Canada and has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of British Columbia and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto.
Known to friends – new and old – as “Jackie,” Parker is married to violinist/violist Aloysia Friedmann, and their daughter Sophie graduated from Rice University in 2021.