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Wednesday July 13, 2022

Jon Kimura Parker Extends Contract with Minnesota Orchestra as Creative Partner for Summer at Orchestra Hall

The internationally-renowned pianist will inaugurate the current summer season on Friday, July 15

The Minnesota Orchestra has announced that Jon (“Jackie”) Kimura Parker will continue to lead the annual Summer at Orchestra Hall festival through August 2024. Parker was appointed as the Orchestra’s first-ever creative partner for summer programming in 2019 and stepped into the position eager to foster new collaborations and curate distinctive programs. Those plans were ultimately delayed due to the pandemic, with Parker’s inaugural themed festival—“The Beethoven Influence”—now set for July 15 to August 7, 2022.

Parker’s two-year extension ensures that the Houston-based pianist will continue to work closely with the Orchestra’s music director, the Musicians’ Artistic Advisory Committee and artistic staff to develop inventive summer programming at Orchestra Hall and neighboring Peavey Plaza. “Despite the challenge of confronting a pandemic during his first two years in this role, Jackie has proven to be an extraordinary partner,” said President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. “We’re thrilled for him to join us again at Orchestra Hall this month, and for the collaborations and programs he’ll put in motion for years to come.”

A frequent guest soloist over the past 30 years, Parker has a long and storied history with the Minnesota Orchestra, first performing at Sommerfest— as the summer festival was previously known—in 1990. “The Minnesota Orchestra and downtown Minneapolis as a whole hold such a special place in my heart,” said Parker. “To be able to enter my fourth decade as a co-creator in this community, and to continue this current chapter of connecting with new artists and audiences, is both humbling and exhilarating.”

Following the two-year postponement, this season’s Summer at Orchestra Hall program includes four weeks of music that explores Beethoven’s works and the composers, artists and ideas he influenced. During the month-long celebration, Parker will serve as curator, host and performer, including an appearance as a soloist on July 15 in an interpretation of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto under the direction of British conductor Nicholas Collon, who will also lead Beethoven’s Second Symphony.

The International Day of Music launches at noon the following day, July 16. Embodying the welcoming spirit of the Orchestra’s summer season, the full day of free concerts features 20 different artists performing across four stages in and around Orchestra Hall. This year’s lineup includes performances from Lady Midnight, Salsa del Soul, and an outdoor performance by the Orchestra conducted by Chia-Hsuan Lin of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.



Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, pianist Jon Kimura Parker has performed regularly at the Berlin Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, London’s South Bank, the Sydney Opera House and the Beijing Concert Hall. In addition to his position with the Minnesota Orchestra, he serves as artistic director of the Honens International Piano Competition and artistic advisor for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. A committed educator, he is professor of piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

A collaborator in a wide variety of styles, 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. Parker’s discography of a dozen albums features music ranging from Mozart and Chopin to Barber, Stravinsky and John Adams.




Minnesota Orchestra Summer at Orchestra Hall


Friday, July 15, 2022, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Nicholas Collon, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano


SIMON Fate Now Conquers
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 2


Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his Second Symphony and Third Piano Concerto, both bold and masterful works, around the same time—a period in which he was coming to grips with his advancing hearing loss. In his Minnesota Orchestra debut, British conductor Nicholas Collon explores both works, with Summer at Orchestra Hall Creative Partner and pianist Jon Kimura Parker interpreting the fiery concerto. The concert opens with contemporary American composer Carlos Simon’s energetic and colorful Fate Now Conquers, which was inspired by an entry from Beethoven’s journal.

Tickets: $20 to $85


Minnesota Orchestra Summer at Orchestra Hall


Saturday, July 16, 2022, 12 noon – 12 midnight / Orchestra Hall and surrounding areas


Launching at 12 noon, the International Day of Music features performances from 20 different artists on four stages in and around Orchestra Hall, celebrating many genres of music for all ages. Chia-Hsuan Lin leads a free outdoor performance by the Minnesota Orchestra on Peavey Plaza at 8:30 p.m., hosted by Jon Kimura Parker. Presented in partnership with The Cedar Cultural Center, City of Bells and Asian Media Access.

Tickets: All Day of Music performances are free.


Minnesota Orchestra Summer at Orchestra Hall


Thursday, July 21, 2022, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall


Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Scott Cuellar, piano

William Eddins, piano

Andrew Staupe, piano


The Grand Piano Spectacular is a one-of-a-kind celebration of piano music and storytelling, featuring four pianists with deep Minnesota roots. Note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not appear on this program.

Tickets: $29 to $67


Minnesota Orchestra Summer at Orchestra Hall


Friday, July 22, 2022, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, July 23, 2022, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Kerem Hasan, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre


BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 14, Moonlight
SMETANA The Moldau, from My Homeland
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, Pastoral


London-born conductor Kerem Hasan leads a program examining nature’s profound influence on Beethoven and other composers, including Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, whose exploration of the cosmos, Metacosmos, was premiered to acclaim in 2018 by the New York Philharmonic. Jon Kimura Parker appears as soloist in Beethoven’s evocative Moonlight Sonata, and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s puppet creations will bring to life Bedřich Smetana’s The Moldau.

Tickets: $20 to $90


Minnesota Orchestra Summer at Orchestra Hall


Friday, July 22, 2022, 10:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Osmo Vänskä, clarinet

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Anthony Ross, cello


For one last time as music director, Osmo Vänskä returns to the stage for a late-night NightCap concert in which he exchanges the baton for his clarinet to join Principal Cello Anthony Ross and pianist Jon Kimura Parker in Brahms’ magnificent trio.

Tickets: $32 [50% discount for July 22 8 pm ticket holders]


Minnesota Orchestra Relaxed Family Concert


Sunday, July 24, 2022, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Caleb Young, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre


BEETHOVEN Allegro ma non troppo, from Symphony No. 6
CLYNE River, from Abstractions
SAINT-SAENS The Swan, from Carnival of the Animals
J. STRAUSS, JR. Thunder and Lightning Polka
BEETHOVEN Adagio sostenuto, from Piano Sonata No. 14, Moonlight Sonata
MASON Running, from A Joyous Trilogy
RAUTAVAARA Cantus Arcticus, Concerto for Birds and Orchestra
SMETANA The Moldau, from My Homeland


This one-hour family concert explores the natural world through symphonic music inspired by birds, weather and water. Relaxed Family Concerts are designed for audiences of all ages and abilities, including individuals with autism or sensory sensitivities. 

Tickets: $12 [Free tickets available for young listeners under the age of 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program.]


Minnesota Orchestra Summer at Orchestra Hall


Sunday, July 31, 2022, 4 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Minnesota Orchestra musicians


Pianist Jon Kimura Parker and musicians of the Orchestra gather for an afternoon of chamber music, performing cherished classics by Felix Mendelssohn and Francis Poulenc, as well as an innovative contemporary piece by Jessie Montgomery.

Tickets: $32


For the full schedule of Summer at Orchestra Hall programming, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/summer

Jon Kimura Parker, Creative Partner, Summer at Orchestra Hall, holds the Marilyn and Glen Nelson Chair

International Day of Music is generously supported by The Minneapolis Foundation



Individual tickets and Minnesota Orchestra subscription packages can be purchased now at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

Our Hall Pass program makes free tickets available for young listeners ages 6-18 for select programs, including all kids under 18 for Family concerts.

Details around COVID safety protocols can be found at minnesotaorchestra.org/safety

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.