The Turkish pianist (and composer), Mehmet Okonşar [Okonsar], was trained in the fields of piano, composition and orchestration at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He graduated with the Highest Distinction ("Premier Nommé") and was, thereafter, coached by the world famous pianist Alexis Weissenberg in Switzerland. Mehmet Okonşar was 1st Prize Winner, as young as 21, at the International Young Virtuosos Competition, Antwerp, and laureate of other prestigious International Competitions such as the Gina Bachauer, Sixth Prize, Salt Lake City (1991) and J.S. Bach, Second Prize, Paris (1989); also Gold Medallist of the "Premio Etruria", Rome (1991) and of the "Academie Internationale Des Arts Contemporains", Enghien (Belgium, 1991).
Mehmet Okonşar is maintaining a busy concertist activity. He has been performing at noteworthy European and American concert halls including Salle Gaveau (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Bösendorfer Saal (Vienna), Jack Singer Concert Hall (Calgary), Symphony Hall (Salt Lake City). He appeared with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Poznan and Lublin Symphony Orchestras, Brussels Opera (La Monnaie), Antwerp Philharmonic, Presidential Symphony (Ankara), Istanbul State Symphony, Izmir State Symphony; and with the maestri: Joseph Silverstein, Charles Dutoit, Sylvain Cambrelin, Christof Escher, Alexander Schwink, Lucas Pfaff, Gürer Aykal... He also appeared in New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Paris, Nimes, Genéve, Engelberg, Rome, Seregno, Enna, Athens, Ankara, Istanbul, Antalya. He has been judging the National Piano Competition of Japan (1999). He recently performed acclaimed concert tours in Poland with the Symphony Orchestras of Poznan and Lublin.
Mehmet Okonşar's recent recordings includes a series of works by J.S. Bach (Die Kunst Der Fugue (BWV 1080), Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Die Goldberg Variationen (BWV 988), Das Musicalisches Opfer) performed on piano, Organ and Harpsichord as well as on electronic keyboards. National Broadcasts of Belgium (RTBF) and Turkey (TRT) have transmitted several of his solo and orchestral performances. He was also extensively featured on the television channels of the above National Networks.
Mehmet Okonşar's researches on the computer related music technologies lead him to a presentation on "Technology and The Artist" for the Yamaha Corp. of Japan and to present a TV series "Music Technologies" for the Turkish National Television (TRT).
Recognized as one of Turkey's premier young concert pianists, Mehmet Okonşar is nominated lifetime State-Artist by the Turkish Republic for his artistic accomplishments. Included in the International Biographical Reference book: 2000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century published by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge UK (Melrose Publications). He was also nominated one of the Ten Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) of the year by the Junior Chamber International (JAYCEES) in the field of cultural/artistic achievements.