Thursday February 2, 2012


The Passionate Pianist

Ian Parker at Central Heights Church February 12

Submitted by Dawn Fauteux, Abbotsford


his performance is a benefit for the CVAM Scholarship Fund to help students further their studies in post secondary education..


In fact, Parker has agreed to donate part of his fee to help with the
fundraising. Also featured is Abbotsford’s own Stephanie Lowe (violin) our first
Scholarship winner. It’s going to be an evening to remember!

Meet Ian Parker– a member of the Parker family dynasty of virtuosic pianists who was born and raised in Vancouver, schooled at Juilliard in New York and now divides his time between performances around the world and his homes and studios in New York City and Vancouver. Youthful, dynamic, flamboyant and expressive, Parker was recently found at his Burnaby studio practicing for an up-and-coming engagement in Bogota, Columbia. Always willing to share his passion for music, pianos, food and life. He was most happy to talk about the once-in-a-lifetime concert being presented by the Central Valley Academy of Music (CVAM) on Sunday, February 12 at 3 p.m. at the Central Heights Church in Abbotsford.

The Piano
Why is this concert so unique? Well, Parker, a concert pianist and recording artist, is really into pianos, has three concert grand pianos of his own, and will be performing in Abbotsford with a one-of-a-kind Steinway.


“It’s a turn-of-the-century Steinway from New York,” explains Parker. “I met the piano when I was doing a master class in Chilliwack. Glen Cuthbertson, a lovely man, hearing impaired, offered to bring his piano for the concert recital. It was amazing! And when Calvin Dyck offered me this opportunity to perform on it again, I was thrilled.”

Why is the piano so fantastic? Because of his hearing impediment, Cuthbertson, a pianist himself, needed a piano with a pure sound for each and every key. It took a year, but he refurbished the Steinway with the revolutionary “Wapin Bridge" system which ensures that strings ring un-impeded. This particular piano is probably the only one west of Winnipeg with the Wapin system.

In addition, Cuthbertson “micro-balanced” the keys based on the protocol of the David Stanwood system in which the weights of the hammers and keys are adjusted to a tolerance of 0.05 grams. The weights follow the smooth curves of a graph to create a more precise and fluid action than what typically comes from most factories.

Rhapsody in Blue
Cuthbertson’s piano is in for a treat; Parker, who is known on the world stage for his show-stopping performances, brilliant technique and embracing stage presence will be pulling out all the stops as he plays one of his (and audiences’) all-time favourites, Gershwin’s amazing, lively, rhythmic, sensuous and dramatic Rhapsody in Blue. Considered a musical portrait of New York City, it combines elements of classical music and jazz. And while the audience basks in the after-glow of Rhapsody in Blue, Parker will then let his fingers float over the keys with melodic passages from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, the concerto made famous in the movie “Amadeus”.

Guest Artists
Parker shares the spotlight in this concert with exceptional BC talent. Flutist Paolo Bortolussi, a passionate and provocative performer of a wide range of musical styles, joins Maria Whelton, a harpist described as angelic, playful, bold and sensitive, for a performance of Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto. Andrew Clark, an international French horn performer from London (UK) and recently welcomed addition to the BC music scene, will play Mozart’s Horn Concerto.


Also included on the program is the Overture to the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” and a movement from the popular Symphony No. 29. Pulling it all together is Abbotsford’s very own Calvin Dyck who will be conducting the Canada West Chamber and Abbotsford Youth orchestras and talented CVAM students.


Among those featured will be Abbotsford’s award-winning Stephanie Lowe, who just finished her BMUS at Biola University in California, Alexandra Hawse – who has performed for the Abbotsford Heat, and outstanding Abbotsford blues guitarist Daveed Saban.

Conductor: Calvin Dyck
CanadaWest Chamber Orchestra, Abbotsford Youth Orchestra and Central Valley Academy of Music Students

Sunday, February 12, 3 p.m. at Central Heights Church, Abbotsford
Tickets: ($25/22/15) at Central Valley Academy of Music (604) 852-3242; House of James (604 852-3701) and King’s Music (604-853-5996)


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