Rhinegold Photo credit: Tara McMullen
Katy Wright

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Honens appoints Jon Kimura Parker as artistic director

9:32, 28th March 2017

The Honens International Piano Competition has appointed Jon Kimura Parker as artistic director, effective from January 2018.

The Canadian pianist has had a long relationship with Honens, having served on the 1992 and 2012 competition juries.

Following study with Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at the Juilliard School, Parker won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition, launching his career.

A committed educator, he is professor of piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Houston. In 1999 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour.

Honens encompasses an annual festival and a triennial competition, which sees pianists of all nationalities aged 20 to 30 compete for $100,000 CAN (£60,000) and an artist development programme valued at a half million dollars.

The competition aims to discover ‘unique, imaginative and informed’ artists, prepare them for professional careers, and offer them opportunities for growth and exposure. Previous laureates include Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Sergei Babayan (1992), Pavel Kolesnikov (2012) and Luca Buratto (2015).

‘Having performed in Calgary for more than 30 years, I have always been met with the warmest possible welcome and a sense of joy in discovering the artistic possibilities of great piano music,’ Parker said, praising Honens as ‘a beautifully-run organisation dedicated to increasing awareness about the vast riches of piano music and to identifying young musicians who have artistic vision.’

Describing Parker as ‘one of the most highly respected pianists and teachers in the world [and a] Canadian icon’, Honens president Neil Edwards added: ‘A better fit for Honens I can’t imagine. We look forward to 2018 with great anticipation.’

The 2017 Honens Festival takes place 8-11 September in Calgary, and the next Honens Piano Competition will be held in 2018.



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