“ Mehmet Okonsar is a pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist of Turkish origins naturalized Belgian. He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. ”
Mehmet Okonsar was born in Istanbul (Turkey) and resided in Paris in the course of his earliest education.
Right after about a year and half studying at the Ankara Conservatory, the Okonsar family transferred to Belgium where Mehmet joined the school of Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden at the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music. Vanden Eynden, who will completely re-shape the keyboard technique of Okonsar, is actually a committed follower of the style of Eduardo del Pueyo. The keyboard technique of Eduardo del Pueyo as well as Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, his trainer, is founded on the work of Marie Jaell, a student of Franz Liszt.
The piano studies of Okonsar finished with all the greatest honors any student could ever get at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. "Premier Prix avec Distinction", performing the "Dante Sonata" by Liszt then "Diplome Superieur de Piano Avec la plus Grande Distinction, Premier Nomme", in 1986, executing the Piano Concerto Op. 42 by Arnold Schoenberg.
At the end of his piano studies, Okonsar obtained the benefit of working with one of the best composers of Belgium: Madame Jacqueline Fontyn. He as well studied with a student of Messiaen, Claude Ballif. In 1989 he will get his degrees in Composition-Orchestration from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels.
Alexis Weissenberg, a pianist Okonsar venerated and also practically worshiped, required him to study with in Switzerland. The master made available Okonsar a total scholarship or grant. One can witness in all performances by Okonsar how deeply Weissenberg had an effect on him.
Mehmet Okonsar international career commenced with the 1st prize at the International Young Virtuoses Competition of Antwerp in 1982. His orchestral debut was the third Concerto by Rachmaninoff executed at the deSingel Concert Hall in Antwerp. His additional prizes are: Paris, 1989, "J. S. Bach" at the Salle Gaveau: second prize; 1990, Rome, Association Chopin "Premio Etruria": first prize; and 1991, United States, Utah, the 6th prize at the "Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition".
Mehmet Okonsar performed with the following orchestras: Utah Symphony, Antwerp Philharmonic, Poznan Philharmonic and Lublin Philharmonic. Examples of the conductors he played with: Joseph Silverstein, Charles Dutoit, Sylvain Cambreling, Ingo Metzmacher, Christof Escher.
In recital Okonsar appeared at London's Royal Opera House, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Kyoto, Bruxelles, Antwerp, Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Rotterdam, Rome, Athens, Calgary, Salt Lake City, Ljubljana.
His repertoire encompasses a selection from the early 17th. century ("The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book") which includes among others Orlando Gibbons and Giles Farnaby and also reaches late twentieth. century with the works by Karlheinz Stockhausen as well as Witold Lutoslawski. Distinctive works within this repertoire are: J.S. Bach "The Art of Fugue" executed on organ (or piano) and also harpsichord; the Goldberg Variations, the integrale of Well-tempered Keyboard.
Mehmet Okonsar as a composer:
The electronic works produced in the 50s as well as early nineteen sixties by Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Xenakis, Henri Pousseur among others launched a new and also previously unheard solution to orchestration. The sound opportunities of the classical orchestra started to be conceptualized by the composers in words of "sound envelopes", "sound filters and formants. Okonsar used a related way in his orchestrations, in the 1990's.
The music by Okonsar is extremely structuralist and also needs a good systematic tactic. Presently the composer uses the personal computer to formulate representational and algorithmic music composition principles. Okonsar makes use of LISP and Common Music to develop a sturdy architectural foundation pertaining to his compositions and also advocates this method as the condition sine qua non for any effective as well as coherent work. This structuralism is usually provided inside the accomplished score in a really precise, elaborate and delicate musical "ecriture".