Minnesota Orchestra appoints its first 'creative partner'

Jon Kimura Parker, pianist
Pianist Jon Kimura Parker has been named a "creative partner" of the Minnesota Orchestra, a role in which he'll help develop summer programming.
Courtesy of Tara McMullen Photography

The Minnesota Orchestra on Monday announced the appointment of its first-ever “creative partner” for summer programming.

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker will lead the development of material for the popular Sommerfest series, serving as a host and performer for the 2020 program.

Parker’s appointment is effective immediately and details of next summer’s event will be published later.

Parker will also work with music director Osmo Vanska and orchestra musicians to guide summer programming over the next three years. The new position is designed to bring different perspectives, specialties and influences into the orchestra's summer programming.

The orchestra hopes to use the creative partner position in years to come to bring in a variety of summer leaders. According to a release from the orchestra, tenure will be two to three years and some may overlap.

Parker, who is also known as Jackie, first performed at Sommerfest in 1990. He has had an eclectic career performing with the Miro Quartet and as a co-founder of "Off the Score" with Police drummer Stewart Copeland.

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