Jon Kimura Parker pushes the boundaries of the conventional image of a classical pianist. While he performs great music in the finest concert halls of the world, playing for the likes of Queen Elizabeth and prime ministers, he also performs in smaller halls. Unusual smaller halls such as in the Canadian Arctic, Tasmania and Zimbabwe. He's performed in war-torn Sarajevo and has shared the stage with the humanitarian, Elie Wiesel.
Parker pushes the boundaries further by improvising in public, jamming live with Doc Severinson and with Bobby McFerrin. And he composes music, including a virtuoso piano version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Parker has also been known to appear in a Star Trek uniform while performing works he's created based on themes from the series, Star Trek.
And there are Parker's many television appearances including the Disney Channel and Bravo's Whole Notes series, which he hosted. Parker is also a committed educator and Professor of Piano at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Parker grew up in Vancouver and is part of a musical family. His brother Jamie and cousin, Ian are also concert pianists. Parker and his wife, Aloysia Friedmann (who is a violinist and violist) run the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival every summer.
On this edition of This Is My Music, Parker shares his favourite music and the stories behind his selections.
This Is My Music airs Saturdays at 10:00 am on Radio 2.
Jon Kimura Parker shares his favourite music on This Is My Music