Jon Kimura Parker

Japanese-Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker plays a collection of works from his 2010-11 tour entitled “Classics and a Little Jazz” (courtesy Opus 3 Artists).

Critics and audiences worldwide have recognized the virtuosity and musicianship of pianist Jon Kimura Parker. As guest soloist, he has toured the Pacific Rim with the Toronto Symphony, Japan with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Germany with the Royal Philharmonic, western Canada with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and North America with the Hallé Orchestra. He has also performed for heads of state and dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, the prime ministers of Canada and Japan, and members of the US Supreme Court.

Parker made his musical debut at age five with the Vancouver Youth Orchestra and would go on to win more than 200 local, national and international competitions, which would include the Governor General's Arts Award in 1996 and an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999. His teachers included Edward Parker (his uncle), Kum-Sing Lee and Marek Jablonski in Canada, and he completed his master's and doctorate degrees at New York's Juilliard School. He is Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston.

Parker’s eclectic repertoire seems to favour both the Romantics - Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Chopin - and a wide variety of 20th-century composers including Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Samuel Barber. He has also been influenced by Oscar Peterson's music. As a member of Canada's Piano Six, now known as PianoPlus, Parker has travelled to remote parts of Canada to play a repertoire ranging from Beethoven, to Alanis Morissette’s One Hand in my Pocket, to the theme for The Simpsons. In 1995 he performed in war-torn Bosnia with the Sarajevo Philharmonic and in 1997 toured with the Warsaw Philharmonic. In addition to performing, Parker hosted the Whole Notes series on Bravo! Canada, and the CBC Radio series "Up and Coming," which showcased young Canadian musicians. He has appeared on The Visionaries and the Disney Channel’s Under the Umbrella Tree.

In the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan, Jon Kimura Parker, who has maternal relatives living near Tokyo, and two Rice University doctoral students organized a benefit concert, Dear Japan — With Love, 2011.

Learn more:
Jon Kimura Parker
Jon Kimura Parker