At the heart of his dedication to performance, recording, and teaching is a deep commitment to the Christian faith. | The Sad Corner, Born: December 14, 1947 - Los Angeles, California, USA. ‘I firmly believe that no one will ever do for the guitar what Andrés Segovia did for his beloved instrument.’. This article was originally published in the Summer 2015 issue of Classical Guitar magazine. | Q In recent years there seems to have been a growing trend away from a legacy of beauty, warmth and lyricism in musical performance to a colder, more mechanistic style of playing. .’ and I will say unto them, ‘Depart from Me, I never knew you!’”, When he spoke those words from the Bible my whole life flashed in front of me and I realized I would stand before Christ and He would say to me, “Depart from Me, I never knew you! Parkening has been guest soloist with the finest orchestras in the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National Symphony Orchestras, the Detroit, Houston, Oregon, and St. Louis symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Click here for more information on the issue. In summer 2012, he was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America’s (, ) “Hall of Fame” and given their Artistic Achievement Award “for monumental contributions to the development of the art and life of the classical guitar.”, I was playing upwards of 90 concerts a year all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, with the goal in life of owning my own ranch and trout stream and retiring at an early age. The blond-haired Californian—also an outdoorsman and champion fly fisherman—projected a different image than other classical guitarists. Regarding Elmer Bernstein, I met him when I was 15 years old and he, as president of the Young Musicians Foundation, introduced me on The Tonight Show. Christopher Parkening, his wife Theresa, and their son, Luke, reside in Southern California. In 2006, he established the prestigious Parkening International Guitar Competition, held at Pepperdine every three years. Countless YouTube videos feature young and older guitarists (including top performers) playing chestnuts from Parkening’s repertoire. Was it Segovia’s influence or your ear that drew you to Ramirez instruments? https://arts.pepperdine.edu/events/parkening, How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Parkening’s book reveals that he found the relentless travel and pressure to perform with peak accuracy every night a grind and a lonely existence. I was playing upwards of 90 concerts a year all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, with the goal in life of owning my own ranch and trout stream and retiring at an early age.
*/, Video Picks of the Week: Jack Davisson (14) Plays Ginastera’s ‘Sonata for Guitar’; Elle Davisson (11) Plays Dyens’ ‘Songe Capricorne, Julian Bream at 60: ‘The Guitar Is The Music Of The Streets’, How To Develop a Good Tremolo on Classical Guitar, Video Pick of the Week: Watch Thu Le’s Dazzling Version of ‘Historia de un amour’, When Bream Met Brouwer for the ‘Concerto Elegiaco’, Julian Bream on Meeting Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and Modern Guitar Compositions, Video Pick of the Week: Jack Cimo and Chris Goodpasture Play a Superb Guitar-Piano Version of Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’, Video Pick of the Week: The Beijing Guitar Duo Plays Bach’s Magnificent ‘Chaconne’, Gretchen Menn Plays Leo Brouwer’s ‘Etude No. Finally, with my persistence, he agreed to it, and I recorded the piece with the London Symphony at Abbey Road Studios with the composer conducting, for the album Parkening, Bernstein, Concerto for Guitar. How surprising it was to read in his 2006 autobiography, Grace Like a River, that during those heady years, as many of the guitarists he’d inspired practiced hard dreaming of a career like his, Parkening wasn’t enjoying his work. That summer, Parkening and his wife headed to Montana for the much-anticipated, peaceful retirement. CHRISTOPHER PARKENING says, no, he doesn't surf. Parkening has amassed an extensive discography on Angel/EMI Classics. I went over to his home and he played me “Empress of the Pagodas,” by Maurice Ravel, along with several other impressionist pieces that found their way onto the album Parkening and the Guitar [rereleased as The Artistry of Christopher Parkening]. All you cared about were your ranches and your trout streams. Your email address will not be published. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a... Every neighborhood in LA has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates... It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. On my music stand at home I have taped a note that reads, “Chris, what are you here for?” Just as my touring guitar bears the scars of having been used to create music, I pray that my imperfect life will be an instrument in God’s hands for His purposes and to His glory. It wasn’t really loyalty to Segovia that kept me playing Ramirez guitars. I thought to myself, “If you have everything you’ve ever wanted in life and you’re still unhappy—what else is there?”. Since your retirement from touring three years ago, do you still practice regularly or perform for special events? He also teaches a summer master class at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Much of your repertoire remains popular with players of two or more generations.
Parkening in a collaboration with guitarist David Brandon: He represented a cool, new breed of virtuoso, respected around the world by people of his own generation as well as the established classical crowd. There was a shift in cover art after your first two albums, where you wore a tux, to photos in which you dressed casually. Other recordings include the critically acclaimed orchestral recording of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un gentilhombre and the world premiere recording of Walton’s Five Bagatelles for Guitar and Orchestra, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and Parkening Plays Vivaldi, which features a selection of Baroque concertos coupled with the world premiere recording of Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The Gold Medal Prize is sponsored by the famous movie producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy and is given in honor of Frank’s father and my musical mentor and cousin, Jack Marshall. He was friends with Ronald Ravenscroft.
These competitions have featured performers from over 20 countries and bestows the largest prize purse of any guitar competition worldwide, with the finals including performances with orchestra (for details, see https://arts.pepperdine.edu/events/parkening. (Watch 2 Guitar Interpretations), Assads, Gallen, and Others Set for Moscow ‘Guitar Virtuosos’ Festival and Competition in Late March, Recent Releases Tuesday: Sheet Music from Nick Fletcher, Nicolas Guay, John Cage, and Luc Gueugneau, Arlen, Takemitsu, Dylla: A Winning Combination for “Rainbow”.
I certainly believe we will see new guitarists who will have wonderful careers. Your email address will not be published.
When I was very kindly presented the Guitar Foundation of America’s Artistic Achievement Award in 2012, I decided that it was the time and place to share what for me was the rather difficult announcement that after nearly five decades as a concert artist, the time had come for me to step away from the concert stage. We shook hands, he got his guitar out of its case and played a nearly flawless performance of “Jesu.” I told him I was making a Bach album, and he told me he was also going to transcribe “Sheep May Safely Graze”—which is one of the most difficult pieces I have ever played on the guitar. | J
I found a beautiful ranch and trout stream in the southwest part of Montana and moved up there from Los Angeles to start to enjoy what I believed would be “the good life.” Amazingly, only a year after I got everything that I thought would make me happy, I became bored with my life, there was an emptiness inside, and I didn’t know why.
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