Thursday, 9 November 2017


Presented by Aureus Great Artists Series
The Aureus Salon
Wednesday (8 November 2017)

In a candid sneak peek of great things to come, Aureus Academy presented its first musical salon at the 19th floor Scotts Road penthouse suite of Aureus CEO Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi in the company of young Georgian pianist Luka Okros.

Luka Okrostsvaridze was the latest 1st prize winner of the Hong Kong International Piano Competition, having garnered that enviable accolade in 2016. Supported by the Chopin Society of Hong Kong as part of a multi-city Asian tour, Luka’s Singapore debut was an unqualified triumph, as he charmed his audience with a full-length recital that combined requisite virtuosity and utmost musicality.

His programme was an interesting and varied one, opening with two Bach Preludes from the Well-Tempered Clavier (Book One, Nos.1&2) and Chopin’s Fourth Ballade. He spoke briefly before each piece, but mostly let his playing do the talking. The contrasts between Schubert’s Impromptu in G flat major (Op.90 No.3) and Rachmaninov’s √Čtude-tableau (Op.39 No.6) or “Little Red Riding Hood” could not have been starker, flowing lyricism followed by a violent and nervous energy. The first half closed with the impressive coruscations of Prokofiev’s Third Sonata.

One seldom gets to hear Rachmaninov’s Six Moments Musicaux (Op.16) complete, but this was the rarest of opportunities, which Luka (and the audience) lapped up with great relish. His sense of colour, encompassing the Russian’s dark brooding style and rapturous Romantic lashings made this a memorable outing. The Rach connection continued in Liszt’s familiar Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, made more special because Luka played Rachmaninov’s own cadenza which is wonderfully decadent with its outlandish harmonies.

The hand-crossing that takes place
in Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody.

The applause and bravos were loud and prolonged, and Luka’s encores included a short Georgian-flavoured improvisation of his own and the Bach-Siloti Prelude in B minor.

The Aureus Great Artist Series will present Luka Okros in a Victoria Concert Hall recital in 2018, where he will stand proud alongside names like Melvyn Tan, Boris Berezovsky, Valentina Lisitsa and Freddy Kempf.     

This young lady seems to exclaim,
"I've never heard anything so exquisite before!"
Luka and his wife Anna (2nd from right)
with their new adoring friends.
Looks like everybody had a great time.
With the humans going or gone,
Oscar the ragdoll settles to his rightful position,
under the New York Steinway.

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