Luka Okros: A Young Georgian with Fast Fingers


His music is pure magic to thousands of enthusiasts of classical composers. The world-renowned Georgian pianist Luka Okros has learned from the best to become one of the best. Studying at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory under the tutelage of Sergei Dorensky, he went on to finish his music education at the Royal College of Music in London with the guidance of famous piano professor Norma Fisher. His career kick-started when he was discovered by the most critical music scouts while studying at the English university. Last Friday, he performed a recital for his hometown of Tbilisi, playing multiple songs not originally included in the evening program. The Grand Hall of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire was sold-out as fans and locals fought to get close to the musical talent. Even his former Tbilisi piano teacher came to give Okros a hug and wish him all the best during the autograph session after the concert.

Starting with famous composer, Chopin, Okros gave a little background to every song he played, outlining his reasons for choosing the song for the performance. This very interactive manner also readily won him many hearts early on in the recital. With a desire to reach anyone curious after the classics as well as offering the highest quality to piano lovers, Okros brought some of the most famous pieces of Chopin’s piano repertoire to life. His fingers impressed the audience with both quick alternations and movements, mastering even the most difficult passages and with elegance and feeling for finely tuned transitions between the songs’ climax.

The Tbilisi conservatory is home to the greatest musicians of Georgia, but even the first half of the performance left the audience speechless. A common feature of operas in Georgia is the abundance of cell phones being used during the show, but Luka Okros’ tunes subconsciously forced all people in the audience to listen attentively to grasp their beauty.

The London-based musician chose the Russian composer Rachmaninoff as his guidance for the second half. Elaborating again on the various meanings of Rachmaninoff’s songs and incorporating a broad range of emotional topics from love to death, Okros was visibly excited just talking about the works before even playing a single sound. When he graciously moved his hands over the piano keys, he was fully concentrated, clearly having the exact rhythm of the work in his mind. Usually starting extremely softly, his style turned at times into a rapid and aggressive movement to successfully hit the rights notes in time before ending the songs in a soft fashion once more.

Only 27 years old now, he received his first prize at 19 at the Horowitz International Piano Competition in 2010. What followed was a storybook career foraging major international prizes. In 2011, he received a prize at the Almaty International Piano Competition; in 2014, at the Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition; in 2015, at the RCM Chappell Medal, the Piano Campus International Competition, the Delia Steinberg International Competition, and the Valencia International Piano Competition "Iturbi Prize"; in 2016, at the Morocco Philharmonic International Piano Competition, the Norah Sande Award, and the Hong Kong International Piano Competition; in 2017, at the Hannover Chopin International Piano Competition and the Scottish International Piano Competition.

The last weeks have seen him on a South-East Asia recital tour traveling through Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Mumbai. In Mumbai, he opened the piano music season at the recently renovated Mumbai Royal Opera House, invited there by the Mehdi Mehta Foundation. The Ambassador of Georgia to India came from New Delhi to Mumbai for the occasion.

Luka has also given successful concerts in Barbados and Europe, including his debut recital at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. He performed before sold-out theaters in London, Paris, Prague, and Budapest.

After the Tbilisi recital, Luka is to continue the tour with European concerts in Valencia (Palau de la Musica), Dublin (Royal Dublin Society Hall), Amsterdam (Het Concertgebouw), and Warsaw (Chopin Museum). The opening of the 2018/2019 season is planned in the UK, Germany, Austria, Poland, China, and Singapore.

By Benjamin Music

19 April 2018 20:38