Assistant Professor of piano, University of Calgary
Praised for her “combination of tenderness and vivacious energy” (San Francisco Chronical) and “sheer virtuosity” (LA Splash), Canadian pianist Jani Parsons has established herself as a musician of warmth, brilliance, versatility, and vivid expression. An active soloist and chamber musician, Jani is a founding member and executive director of Latitude 49, a mixed chamber ensemble recently in residence at Princeton University and the pianist of the Aurora Trio with violinist Timothy Steeves and cellist Max Geissler. Jani joined the faculty at the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts as the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Piano and head of the piano program in 2021.
As an avid performer and supporter of living composers, Jani has worked directly with many composers including Steve Reich, Christopher Cerrone, John Zorn, Stacy Garrop, Marc Mellits, Roshanne Etezady, Augusta Read Thomas, Jared Miller and Shulamit Ran and has premiered upwards of eighty new solo and chamber works. She is especially enthusiastic about featuring a wide array of “classics” and undiscovered masterpieces in her programming that spans from pre-Baroque to newly inked works.
A sought-after chamber musician, Jani has appeared with the Pittsburg New Music Ensemble, members of Bang on a Can All-Stars, Eighth Blackbird, and New Music Detroit as well as members of the Chicago and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. Performances across North America include the Chan Centre for the Arts (Vancouver, British Columbia), the Banff Centre for the Arts, Detroit Symphony Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, the Ravinia Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) and at various educational institutions including the New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and Northwestern University among others. Jani has appeared in 8 professionally released recordings and can be heard on the New Amsterdam label, Tzadik label and Çedille Recordsamong others.
Jani studied in Canada with Lorraine Ambrose at the Vancouver Academy of Music and graduated from the University of Michigan under Arthur Greene and John Ellis. She has served on faculty at the Fresh Inc. Summer festival, the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and the Piracicaba International Piano Festival in Brazil. Prior to her appointment at the University of Calgary, Jani served on faculty at the Baylor University School of Music from 2017-2021 where she was recognized as an OVPR Rising Star for her potential for research and early-career development.