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David Ezra (prev. Mehmet) Okonşar, composer

David Ezra (prev. Mehmet) Okonsar, pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist is the First Prize Winner at the International Young Virtuosos Competition, Antwerp, Belgium, 1982 and laureate of other prestigious international piano competitions such as the Gina Bachauer, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1991 and J. S. Bach, Paris, France 1989.

David Ezra Okonsar started composing music at the age of 11, his role-models were Arnold Schoenberg and Pierre Boulez.

A copy of Boulez's Third Piano Sonata, found at the library of the Ankara State Conservatory paved the way for his composing track. The French Cultural Centre of Ankara with the comprehensive mediatheque it then possessed, provided Okonsar with overwhelming listening opportunities. Edgar Varese, Pierre Schaeffer, Iannis Xenakis and Olivier Messiaen shaped the musical sensibility of the young Okonsar.

After completing piano studies, he was trained at the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music with one of Belgium's foremost composers of our time: Madame Jacqueline Fontyn. He has also been coached by Paris Conservatory's famous analysis teacher: Claude Ballif.

The works of Okonsar were, right from the beginning, fearlessly exploring unusual forms and ensembles. During the eigthties atonal Jazz and similar contemporary idioms found in the music of Cecil Taylor, Bill Evans have been an additional influence to the ever-present extended serialism in the work of Okonsar . Other major extra-serialistic influences who shaped the music of Okonsar are K. Penderecki, I. Xenakis and G. Ligeti.

The practice of electronic-music by Ligeti, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Pousseur and others in the sixties created a completely new and modern approach to orchestration. The classical orchestra's resources begun to be thought in terms of "sound envelopes", "filters", "formants" and so on. Okonsar followed a similar path in the nineties.

The music of Okonsar is highly structured and it is simultaneously inviting and challenging analytical approach. This complex structural inner-core is presented in the score with a detailed, precise, intricate and refined musical writing.

David Ezra (prev. Mehmet) Okonsar is recipient of the Gold Medal at the "Academie Internationale des Arts Contemporains" of Enghien, Belgium for his compositions.

Review all my compositions in a short video...

Published Works:


Piano Concerto in C (2020)

The Piano Concerto in C is actually a serial, twelve-tone piece. However the series were elaborated to emphasize a "gravity" center around C and creating "flavors" of major, minor and modal settings.

Remaining movements use variants of this tone-row. Those variants emphasize diminished/augmented fourths and fifths and minor/major third intervals.

For solo piano and medium orchestra

Symphonic poem in four movements for large orchestra:
oRRaz ("Light and Mystery")

The symphony is inspired by the work of Yehudah Halevi  (1075/86 - 1141) Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher. Specifically the Ayin Nedivah (“Generous Eye”) a Qasida For Solomon Ibn Ghiyyat; as well as the Gematria relationship between the Hebrew letters making for “or” (light) and “raz” (secret – mystery).

For large orchestra

Sonata in Two Movements for Expanded Piano:
Remez (hints)

Remez can be translated as alluded meaning (reading between the lines), in modern Hebrew it means hint. And traditionally, “remez” refers to methods such as “gezera shava” (equivalent language implying equivalent meaning) and “gematria” (word-number values).

The two movements of this Sonata: “Gezera shava” and “Gematria” adopt the two methods of “remez” for revealing the hints (deep, allegorical, symbolic meanings of texts) and applies them to musical materials, specifically series, rows of musical entities, often rooted in but not exclusively limited to 12-tone techniques.

For solo piano and synthesizer (or "tape")

Sixteen Short Sonatas For The Solo Piano (2020)

The Sixteen Short Sonatas for the piano is a series of relatively terse pieces for the solo piano. The écriture is often more straightforward than in my lengthier projects.

The title Sonata is employed here in the Baroque sense of the word. One indivisible musical texture which is not dualistic as with the classical sonata neither programmatic as with the romantic sense of the form.

For the solo piano

Malakhim (Messengers, Angels) Ten Pieces

Malakhim (מלאכים, melakhim, malachim), often translated as "angels", literally means messengers. This aspect of the concept constitutes the basic idea for the composition. Titles and order of the pieces are based on the commonly accepted names and hierarchical order of angels, as established by Moshe bin Maimon (Maimonides a.k.a Rambam, 1135-1204).

The ten pieces for the piano, inspired by the denominations, hierarchical order (reversed) and commonly given attributes of beings referred to as "angels" (Malakhim, messengers) as described by Maimonides are:

I - Ishim:  "manlike" beings [Genesis 10-5 and Daniel 10-5]
II - Cherubim: "unearthly beings who directly attend to God" [Ezekiel 10-1]
III - Bene Elohim:  "Sons of Godly beings" [Genesis 6:1-4 and Job: 1:6, Job: 38:7]
IV - Elohim:  "Godly beings" [Bereshit 1:1]
V - Malakim: messengers, angels
VI - Seraphim: "the burning one" [Isaiah 6]
VII - Hashmallim: "stormy wind coming from the north" [Ezekiel 1:4]
VIII - Erelim: "the valiant, courageous" [Isaiah 33:7]
IX - Ophanim: "the wheels that never sleep" [Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10]
X - Chayot Ha Kodesh: "living beings, angels of fire" [Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10]

For the solo piano


Haikus, duo for cello solo and percussion attempts to bring into the musical world the particular aesthetics of the Haiku.

The short poems known as Haiku are in essence very different from the poetic literature of the western world. By bringing together some phenomenon, facts generally gathered from nature, flowers, plants, animals, weather conditions and so, often by creating uncommon associations between them, these lovely short poems act as triggers to create feelings as an "after-effect". Haikus do not tell a story neither they describe personal feelings, rather they trigger feelings. Like a musical instrument which may create "resonances" which are related but somehow apart from the actual notes played.

The piece is not based on any particular Haiku nor a series of them. As there are no real stories in Haiku, there is not any "theme" and "developments" in the piece.

Duo for solo Cello and Percussion

Eikhah (Lamentations) אֵיכָה

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

Symphonic Poem in Five Movements for Grand Orchestra

Haazinu (Listen!) הַאֲזִינוּ

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! And let the earth hear the words of my mouth!

The Song of Moses
Seven Pieces For The Solo Piano

Rhapsodies Hébraïques
Free form compositions based on popular Jewish melodies for the piano solo

Tehillim-Psalms: Six Psalms for Vocal and small orchestra (music score)

Six pieces for vocal solo and chamber orchestra

The Temples of Kyoto
Three pieces for the piano (music score)

A series of three piano pieces inspired from my visit in Kyoto.

Music for 3 percussionists (music score)

Instrumentation is left at the discretion of the performers. However, the following rules apply: Each performer (A, B and C) have a set of the same instrument with undefined pitches classified as H (high) M (mid) L (low). Each performer also has another instrument, different from the above mentionned HML set, referred to as X.

Kaleidoscopes: Three pieces for various instruments (music score)

Kaleidoscopes, is a series of pieces created on one unique tone-row using its various modifications. The tone-row is from Alban Berg's violin concerto ("To The Memory of an Angel"). Number 1 for solo piano, 2 for chamber orchestra, marimba and piano and 3 for viola and piano.

Concertango: Concertino for piano and small orchestra (music score)

Concertango is a classical piano concerto, or "concertino", entirely based on themes and melodies by Astor Piazzolla. I arranged these into a regular piano-concerto orchestration.

Chameleon & Emulation
"Chameleon" & "Emulation": Pieces for the piano

These represent my output from 1986 to 2010. They range from my student days at the Brussels Conservatory, under the guidance of Madame Jacqueline Fontyn to a time I consider my style set. Chameleon: three pieces for the piano. Emulation: five short pieces for the piano.

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