Minnesota Orchestra Appoints First-Ever Creative Partner for Summer Programming
Pianist Jon Kimura Parker Appointed to Minnesota Orchestra Creative Partner Position
The Minnesota Orchestra announced its latest leadership role—a creative partner for the orchestra’s summer programming. In the same release, it was announced that Pianist Jon “Jackie” Kimura Parker would be filling that role, a 3-year-long position that begins immediately that focuses on him hosting and performing in multiple Minnesota Orchestra programs beginning in July of 2020.
The new leadership role that Parker is taking on was designed to bring varied artistic voices into the orchestra’s summer programming. According to the press release, Parker shall serve as the creative force driving the orchestra’s popular summer festival.
Over the course of the next three summers, Parker will be leading a collaborative process with Music Director Osmo Vänskä, the Musicians’ Artistic Advisory Committee and artistic staff to develop programming, according to the press release. Plans for the 2020 programming are set to be announced in spring of 2020.
This position—notable the first in the Orchestra’s history—is a flexible position two-to-three-year terms, some of which may overlap.
“It’s an exciting model that will allow the Orchestra and its audiences to benefit from creative collaboration with a range of partners who may be performers, conductors or artists from other disciplines,” said President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns in the press release. “We are happy to unleash Jackie’s tremendous creative energies in this role.”
According to the release, Music Director Osmo Vänskä agreed that Parker was a perfect fit for the role.
“Jackie Parker is a great person to have as the first artist in this role,” he said in the release. “He is an excellent musician, and he also has a great sense of curiosity and adventure that leads to interesting conversation and surprising programming.”
Parker has been performing with the Minnesota Orchestra for years—his first performance in the Sommerfest was in 1990, playing in a Piano Spectacular that showcased four pianists. He has since returned both to the festival and subscription performances with the Minnesota Orchestra many times since.
In the press release, Parker mentions how integral both Sommerfest and the Minnesota Orchestra have been in his life—both in his musical career and personal development.
“Sommerfest played a huge role in my growth as a musician,” he said in the press release. “To now serve in a role where I can contribute to the artistic vision and future of the festival, alongside Osmo Vänskä, musicians and artistic staff, is a dream. My own musical journey has mainly been as a pianist, but I have always welcomed opportunities to step out of the box, and this opportunity to do something new and different is exhilarating.”
For more information about the Minnesota Orchestra, its newest creative position, and Sommerfest, please visit minnesotaorchestra.org.