Jon Kimura Parker Steps in for Jean-Yves Thibaudet at TSO
It is with great regret that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has cancelled his appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) this week. He wishes his friends and colleagues the very best for the end of their season, with congratulations to Peter Oundjian for a remarkable tenure as TSO Music Director. The TSO is grateful to pianist Jon Kimura Parker, who has graciously agreed to step in and perform Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F on short notice.
The program, entitled Brahms Symphony 1, remains unchanged, showcasing one of the grandest of all symphonies, with Peter Oundjian on the podium. The evening also includes three dances from Bernstein's jaunty, jazz-flavoured ballet, Fancy Free. The June 13 concert is presented in partnership with Pride Toronto, and includes a pre-concert performance by Singing Out-Toronto's LGBTQ+ and allies community chorus-in the lobby at 7:15pm. The June 14 concert includes a free pre-concert performance by The TSO Chamber Soloists (6:45pm, in the auditorium).
"It's always a pleasure to work with Jon Kimura Parker," comments Peter Oundjian. "We go back a long way. We sat next to each other at graduation at Juilliard-having never met, despite both being Canadian. I graduated 10 seconds before he did, thanks to alphabetical advantage!"
Hailed as "an insightful, energetic soloist" by The New York Times, Jon Kimura Parker last appeared with the TSO in November 2016. A long-time collaborator and friend of the TSO, Jon Kimura Parker is known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence. With multiple solo appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie, London's South Bank, the Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Concert Hall, Mr. Parker continues to perform to great acclaim. Conductors he has recently worked with include Marin Alsop, Teddy Abrams, Claus Peter Flor, James Gaffigan, Hans Graf, Giancarlo Guerrero, Jeffrey Kahane, Andrew Litton, Tito Muñoz, Gianandrea Noseda, Larry Rachleff, Lahav Shani, Bramwell Tovey, Xu Zhong, David Zinman, and Pinchas Zukerman. A true Canadian ambassador of music, Jon Kimura Parker 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, the country's highest civilian honour. In the past two years, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. An unusually versatile artist, active media personality, and a committed educator, Jon Kimura Parker is also Artistic Director of the Honens International Piano Competition, which in its search for "The Complete Artist" awards the largest prize of its kind. For more information about Jon Kimura Parker, please visit jonkimuraparker.com.
Photo: Jon Kimura Parker (Photo by Tara McMullen)