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
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
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).
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.
Concerto for Theremin and Orchestra:
The Royal Crown (Keter Malkhut)
The concerto for
Theremin and orchestra, The Royal Crown (Keter Malkhut) is inspired by
the series of poems by Solomon ibn Gabirol, an 11th-century Andalusian
poet and Jewish philosopher with a Neo-Platonic tendency.
The work does not follow specifically any poem or “programme” but
it is strongly reflective of the poet's mystical, Kabbalistic and
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
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
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
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]
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.
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.
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.