A&E » Arts

Parker passionate about classical music



Ravel’s Ondine highlights Vancouver pianist’s Whistler performance

Who: Ian Parker

Where: Millennium Place

When: March 17, 4 p.m.

You’ve never spoken with a more passionate player of classical music than Vancouverite Ian Parker.

Even on the phone from New York City, where he is now based, his enthusiasm for his favourite composer (Brahms) and music mentors (his father, a Vancouver piano teacher) comes through as his description of the music comes pouring out.

And any Master student at performing arts school Juilliard is always on the go, in the city that never sleeps.

"I will show the reasons why classical music is the most powerful music around!" says Parker.

"I like music like jazz, and I’m into all sorts like house and other musical veins, but for a classical music piece you have to memorize 10,000 notes for one sitting, and I’m not kidding!" he says.

"Whereas other music follows a chord progression and plays around that, classical music is very concise."

Parker’s program runs one hour and 10 minutes, with no intermission. Whistler Community Arts Council president John Hewson helped arrange the show, asking Parker to pick songs he felt expressed the grandeur of the Whistler mountains.

For this reason Parker has chosen Ravel’s Ondine, "a liquid piece which tells the story of a mermaid," and Chopin’s second sonata, titled the Funeral March Sonata.

Pieces from Scarlatti’s sonatas will also be included.

This show is part of a tour that includes a performance with the Abbotsford Symphony, with conductor Johann Louwerscheimer. Parker will play Rachmaninoff Rhapsody, theme of Paganini.

Last May Parker won the CBC Radio National young Performers’ Competition, piano category, held at the Universite de Montreal’s Salle Claude Champagne.

At one time he taught actress Susan Sarandon to play for her feature film Twilight. Parker has performed for the Canadian Consulate General at Rockefeller Centre in NYC, and played Mozart’s Concerto for Three Pianos with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with his two cousins, a show he calls one of the highlight of his career.

Prior to his 4 p.m. concert Parker will be giving a Master class from 2 to 3:30 p.m., open to interested members of the public and all piano students.

Only one ticket is required to attend both the performance and Master class.