BY KIRSTEN BOLTON
Two B.C. musical artists who have earned international attention will play back-to-back next weekend at ArtSpring: concert pianist Ian Parker on Friday, Feb. 10 and pop singer/songwriter Andrew Allen on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Magnetic, easy-going and delightfully articulate, Vancouver-born Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. Piano is in his blood. Born into a family of pianists, Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father and went on to graduate with a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was presented with the “most talented Canadian artist” award.
As a pianist, Parker has appeared with top symphony orchestras across North America, and as an enthusiastic recitalist he has performed across the United States, Europe, Israel and throughout Canada. In addition to his work at the keyboard, he is currently music director and principal conductor of the VAM Symphony Orchestra at the Vancouver Academy of Music.
Parker’s recordings include a CD with the London Symphony conducted by Michael Francis featuring three piano concertos: Ravel’s Concerto in G, Stravinsky’s Capriccio and Gershwin’s Concerto in F, released by ATMA Classique, and an all-fantasy solo CD including fantasies of Chopin, Schumann and Beethoven on Azica Records. Additionally, CBC Records released a recording of three Mozart concertos for one piano (K. 467), two pianos (K. 365) and three pianos (K. 242) featuring Parker and his two cousins, Jon Kimura Parker and Jamie Parker, with the CBC Radio Orchestra.
On his performance with the San Francisco Symphony, a review stated that: “The Canadian’s hands literally jumped with percussiveness one moment, moved blurry fast the next, and as a further contrast, gracefully and sensuously stroked the Steinway’s keyboard throughout the lyrical sequences.”
ArtSpringers are, no doubt, in for a treat. Thank you to Mary and Alan Hughes for sponsoring this performance.
On Saturday, Vernon-born singer-songwriter Allen shares tracks from his 2022 album 12:34, the latest in a string of release successes which have seen him score five Top 10 hits in Canada since 2009.
His benchmark single Loving You Tonight (2010) got him signed to Epic Records and put him on tour with acts like Bruno Mars and OneRepublic. As a songwriter, Allen has written with the likes of Meghan Trainor and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Described as “a genuine and authentic artist who truly embodies the term ‘live performer,’” Allen’s comic wit and storytelling ability, smooth vocals and memorable songwriting promise to create a dynamic, interactive live show.
Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Allen’s 12:34 song opens every emotion and shares the pain and struggle of losing love, the confusion and chaos of rediscovering yourself again, and the blissful happiness that comes in finding new love.
Its title, 12:34, is an “angel number” Allen says he’s seen repeatedly over the last few years, and one many believe is the universe’s way of communicating with us.
“12:34 can be seen as a number of progression and/or steps along a journey or life path,” he shares. “It indicates that you may have to put some hard work and effort towards a new project, venture or important life change.”
It’s a personal musical journey about the ups and downs that come with major change, sung with heart, soul, some laughs and a positive outcome.
Thank you to Mouat’s Old Salty for sponsoring this performance.
Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale through ArtSpring, at the box office and online.