Letter to Columbus from Jon Kimura Parker

Jon Kimura ParkerIn the past two seasons, Jon Kimura Parker has performed as guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and every major orchestra in Canada. This season Mr. Parker performs with major orchestras in Atlanta, Boston, Calgary, Cincinnati, Denver, Ottawa, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Tampa, Tokyo, Toronto, Rochester, and Warsaw. He also returns to the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic next summer.

I made my debut with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in the early 90s and was frankly astounded at the quality of the orchestra then.

I have been fortunate to see and hear its artistic growth over a
fifteen year period. I have collaborated with the CSO in repertoire ranging from Mozart to Tchaikovsky, and I have performed with many individual players in this extraordinary orchestra in chamber music festivals nationwide. I also recount, from many years ago, the great experience I had with the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto, with Maestro Junichi Hirokami.

The quality, commitment, and artistic vision of this orchestra and its music director are recognized nationally and internationally. The CSO's reputation has made Columbus a cultural jewel. The best players from around the country have moved to Columbus to make music for your citizens, to move you, to entertain you, and to enrich your lives. They are teaching music to your children.

It takes many years, even decades, for an orchestra to achieve this kind of prominence and renown. Unfairly perhaps, reversing this level of quality is painfully fast. Dire uncertainty or drastic curtailing of the scope of any orchestra quickly results in the best players moving on.

It is urgent to support this orchestra now and to demonstrate that the city of Columbus recognizes its value.

The artistic world is watching Columbus carefully and hoping to see this commitment to excellence continue.

It is overwhelmingly encouraging to note that the next few concerts have been saved, but it is now critical to support the CSO's future.

Finally, I want to express my willingness to come to Columbus to perform without fee in any concert that will support the CSO and actively encourage others to do so. I can only imagine that many of my colleagues would do the same.

Jon Kimura Parker
Concert Pianist

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