Ian Parker
Ian Parker Photo
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  • Chopin: Nocturne in B Major
  • Haydn: Piano Concerto in D Major, I.
  • Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, III.
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Magnetic, easy-going, and delightfully articulate, Canadian pianist/conductor Ian Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. As a pianist, he has appeared with virtually every Canadian orchestra,  notably the symphonies of Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, the Calgary Philharmonic and Orchestre Métropolitain.  Other highlights include the San Francisco, Cincinnati, National/Washington D.C, Santa Barbara, Richmond, and Honolulu symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, to name a few. Conductor collaborations include Andrey Boreyko, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Francis, Bernhard Gueller, Giancarlo Guerrero, Fabio Mechetti, Edwin Outwater, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Bramwell Tovey, Joshua Weilerstein, and others. 


Celebrated American conductor John Morris Russel, then Music Director of the Windsor Symphony, offered Parker his first professional opportunity to realize his growing passion for conducting, by inviting him to conduct a subscription concert in Windsor from both keyboard and podium. This successful concert was the birth of a wonderful new chapter in Ian’s musical life and eventually a position as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the VAM Symphony Orchestra at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where Maestro Parker is serving in his seventh season. Working with some of Canada’s most promising young musicians, he programs and conducts four concert cycles per season in Vancouver’s historic Orpheum Theatre.  He also initiated an ambitious recording program, which intensified during the pandemic when live performances were suspended, and has already encompassed complete cycles of Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. In the 2023/24 season, he will have his conducting debut with the Okanagan Symphony in an all-Beethoven program, where he will lead the “Emperor” concerto from the keyboard and the seventh symphony from the podium. 


An enthusiastic recitalist, Parker has performed across the United States, Europe, Israel, and throughout Canada on tours with Debut Atlantic, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, and Piano Six. Recital highlights include the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, UCLA, the University of British Columbia, and collaborative performances at the Hawaii International Music Festival and the Morgan Library in New York City. Additionally, he is Artistic Director of Resonate at the Kay Meek Centre in North Vancouver, where he curates a series of forward-looking chamber music concerts utilizing his extensive international artist network, often collaborating with his colleagues in performance.


Piano recordings include a CD with the London Symphony featuring three piano concertos: Ravel’s Concerto in G, Stravinsky’s Capriccio, and the Gershwin Concerto in F, conducted by Michael Francis and released by ATMA Classique; and an all-fantasy solo disk including fantasies of Chopin, Schumann, and Beethoven for Azica Records; and  three Mozart concertos:  for one piano (K. 467), two pianos (K. 365), and three pianos (K. 242), featuring Ian and his two cousins, Jon Kimura Parker and Jamie Parker, produced by CBC Records with the Radio Orchestra and conductor Mario Bernardi.


First Prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, Ian Parker has also won the Grand Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, the Corpus Christi International Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition. At The Juilliard School, he received the 2002 William Petschek Piano Debut Award and, on two occasions, was the winner of the Gina Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition. Heard regularly on CBC Radio, he has also performed live on WQXR (hosted by Robert Sherman) in New York.


Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Ian began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. While at Juilliard, he was awarded the Sylva Gelber Career Grant by the Canada Council for the Arts, presented annually to the “most talented Canadian artist.”




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It was a show-stopping performance from Parker and the LPO [Gershwin’s Concerto in F] …”


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