Houston Symphony: Ravel and Debussy

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker had performed as a guest soloist with the Houston Symphony several times before he moved to Houston to join the Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music faculty. “I thought, oh, that’s it. I’m never going to get to [appear] with them again now that I’m local,” Parker says. Happily, he was wrong. Asked to join Conductor Laureate Hans Graf for Ravel and Debussy, a program of impressionist music, Parker will perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major. Written in the late 1920s just after Ravel toured the United States, the piece has strong elements of the jazz music he heard here.

Parker says the piece also has lots and lots of short solos for the other members of the orchestra. The piccolo, harp, French horn, oboe, bassoon and percussion players are among those who get some time in the spotlight. (As one of the solos is just three seconds long, there admittedly won’t be much time for some of the musicians.) The rest of the program includes Ravel’s Mother Goose and Debussy’s Images. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston adds landscapes from “Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River,” a new exhibit of works by the French Impressionist.

8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713‑224‑7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $125.

Photo: Jon Kimura Parker by Tara McMullen
Thu., Oct. 23, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 25, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 26, 2:30 p.m., 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez