Pianist Jon Kimura Parker teams with East Texas Symphony Orchestra for concert Oct. 7 at The University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center

Published on Thursday, 5 October 2017 10:47 - Written by

DANNY MOGLE, danny@mylifestylesmag.com

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker will be the guest artist at East Texas Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday.

Under direction of Maestro Richard Lee, the orchestra will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center. Tickets for adults range from $16 to $62 and can be bought online at etso.org or cowancenter.org.

Parker will be featured in Rachmanoff’s Rhapsody of a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43, which Lee said is a “romantic, virtuoso piece for piano and orchestra, filled with clever musical effects.”

The piece will showcase Parker’s many skills.

“The ability to play lyrically, beautifully with natural phrasing as well as the quicksilver technique are required for the stupendously difficult passages,” Lee said. “Mr. Parker is one of the few pianists who can do it all.”


A native of Canada, Parker began studying the piano as a preschooler and received training at Vancouver Academy of Music, The University of British Columbia, Victoria Conservatory and Julliard School.

He began receiving international recognition after winning the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition at 24.

A frequent performer, Parker has appeared with Berlin Radio Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, and most major orchestras in Canada.

He is an Officer of The Order of Canada, which is Canada’s highest civilian honor.

Currently living in Houston, Parker is professor of piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.


The concert will open with Nielsen’s Helios Overture, Op. 17.

Lee describes the piece as a “musical attempt to describe dawn to dusk on an idyllic day in Greece. Audacious, to say the least.”

The orchestra also will present Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 to conclude its four-year project to present all of Brahms’ symphonies.

“The First is the most serious of Brahms’ symphonies, but it ends triumphantly, as brooding works tend to,” Lee said. “It also contains a sweetly beautiful second movement and a graceful third movement.”

Patrons can learn more about the music at the free Opening Notes presentation at 6:45 p.m. before the concert in the Cowan Center’s Braithwaite Recital Hall.

Lee will offer his perspectives and insights into what to listen for.