Salt Lake City – The Orchestra at Temple Square will be joined by Jon Kimura Parker, internationally acclaimed solo pianist, for the opening concert of its 2002-2003 concert season on Saturday, 14 September, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Mr. Parker and the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, often called the “Emperor.” Also included in this season-opening concert will be Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor. Barlow Bradford, music director of the Orchestra at Temple Square, will be conducting this musical evening. “These pieces represent two of the great works in classical music,” said Bradford. “We are especially pleased to have a pianist the caliber of Mr. Parker join us for the Beethoven.”

Born, raised and educated in Vancouver, Jon Kimura Parker has truly become a Canadian ambassador of music. He has performed in many prestigious concert halls across the world and has proven a remarkably versatile artist. One of his most memorable concerts was performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto in war-torn Sarajevo in 1995, a concert broadcast into 59 nations.

The Emperor Concerto was written in 1809 in Vienna, Austria, during a time when Europe was engulfed in the Napoleonic wars. The nickname “Emperor” most likely stems from the composer’s close ties to the aristocratic elite.

In the concerto, Beethoven’s musical imagery attempts to transport the audience on to the battlefield, where the powerful sounds of the orchestra engage the poetic and technical ornamentations of the grand piano. The audience is led past a tapestry of military motifs, haunting melodies and a beautiful adagio toward an energetic finale.

Explaining the juxtaposition of the two works of this concert, Bradford said, “Beethoven and Schumann complement each other extremely well. Each is coming from the same musical sensibility, yet each has his own unique voice.” Schumann, who was born a year after Beethoven wrote the “Emperor” Concerto, did not begin his Symphony No. 2 until 1845. Reflecting a personal tragedy that influenced its composition, the symphony is filled with contrasting moods and themes, presenting a journey from travail to triumph.

Free tickets are required for the concert and are available to the public at the Conference Center ticket office (door 4) from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and on the Internet (www.lds.org/events). The doors of the Tabernacle will open at 6:30 p.m. and the length of the performance will be approximately 90 minutes. Seating is limited to children 8 years of age and older.