Nahkur has won Top Prizes in many international piano competitions in Estonia, Italy, Greece, Russia, USA and Canada. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Golden Medal of Merit for promoting Estonian cultural life and music (Canada), Harold von Mickwitz Prize (USA) and the Diplomat of the Nation certificate of merit by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Estonia). He has performed in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Canada, Israel, Russia and at numerous international piano festivals, including The International Holland Music Sessions (The Netherlands), “Klaver” (Estonia), Festival Internacional de Piano (Mexico), St. Andrews Summer Festival (Canada), Aspen Music Festival (USA), TCU-Cliburn Piano Institute (USA), West Chester Piano Institute (USA), TCU/Liszt Academy Festival (USA), PianoTexas International Academy & Festival (USA) and National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy of the Frances Clark Center (USA). In America, he has performed in more than twenty States.
His CDs have won awards globally: “DeusExClavier” was named “Record of The Year – Die Platten des Jahres” by ZEIT-ONLINE, Germany’s largest weekly newspaper: “Hando Nahkur is one of the greatest new surprises of the classical music scene…with this CD he establishes himself amongst the greatest pianists..”. “Waltzing Mephisto by the Danube” was awarded with Silver Medals both in Instrumentalist and Classical Music categories by Global Music Awards (USA). TheWholeNote in Canada wrote: “..Brilliant playing.. gratifying freshness.. Nahkur plays with impressive ease, remarkable clarity and incendiary energy.. Mephisto Waltz has another reincarnation with pianist Hando Nahkur..”.
Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Hando moved to the United States of America more than a decade ago to begin studies at Yale University School of Music. At age fifteen, he made his debut with the Estonian National Opera Orchestra, at age sixteen he debuted with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has appeared with many orchestras in Canada, USA, Costa Rica and Europe.
Nahkur is also known as a music arranger. He has arranged many classic pop tunes for solo piano and frequently performs them in his concerts. His original piano arrangements were published for the first time in 2014 by Alfred Music (USA). “A Holy Night” – 10 Arrangements of Timeless Carols” is a full presentation of his skills as a music arranger.
He holds five degrees from four universities in the USA: Yale University School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Texas Christian University School of Music and SMU Meadows School of the Arts. He is the first recipient of the prestigious Artist Diploma at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. His teachers were Boris Berman, Gabriel Chodos, Tamás Ungár and Joaquín Achúcarro. Currently he is working on his Doctorate degree with Dr.Pamela Mia Paul at the University of North Texas. In Estonia, he studied piano, percussion and conducting at the Tallinn Music High School and Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre with Ülle Sisa, Erna Saar, father Toivo Nahkur, Aleksandra Juozapenaite-Eesmaa, Kristjan Mäeots, Olav Ehala and Ants Sööt.
He has performed at Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas, TX), Amsterdam Concertgebouw (The Netherlands), Palace of Fine Arts (San Francisco, CA) Theater of Markopoulo Mesogaias (Greece), Vienna Konzerthaus (Austria), George Weston Hall (Canada), Harris Concert Hall (Aspen, CO), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA), Jordan Hall (Boston, MA), Steinway Hall (New York City, NY) and National Theatre of Costa Rica (San José, Costa Rica) to name a few.
Nahkur has released four CDs: “Works by..” (HN Productions), “DeusExClavier” (ERP), “O Holy Night” (HN Productions) and “Waltzing Mephisto by the Danube” (ERP). Besides his studies and busy performance schedule, Nahkur is the Director of Music at Christ Lutheran Church in Dallas, where he performs as a pianist/organist, conducts multiple choirs and supervises CLC’s entire music program.