Internationally acclaimed pianist Hando Nahkur has captivated audiences across Europe, North and South America, Russia, and Israel in performances as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and collaborative artist, receiving critical acclaim for his technical prowess and musical sensitivity. Free Estonian Word (U.S.) praises his playing as “…outstanding technically and musically. He plays with clarity, sensitivity, tenderness, and beautiful phrasing.” The WholeNote (Canada) describes Nahkur as “consistently amazing in his ability to blend both the technical and interpretive demands of his repertoire.” PianoNews (Germany) states, “Nahkur plays both lucidly and passionately, with absolute brilliance. His interpretation rightfully can hold its own even against the legendary Wilhelm Kempff or Martha Argerich.” La Tribuna (Italy) writes, “Great virtuosity and interpretative maturity. The audience was amazed by his talent from the very first measures he played.”
Dr. Nahkur has appeared with orchestras in the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, Estonia, Sweden, and Germany and performed at major concert venues such as Symphony Hall (Boston, MA), Theatre of Markopoulo Mesogaias (Greece), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas, TX), Vienna Konzerthaus (Austria), Amsterdam Concertgebouw (the Netherlands), Steinway Halls (New York, NY and Ft. Worth, TX), Hannes Reimann Hall (Switzerland), Theatre of Eden (Italy), Melartin Hall (Finland), Casa de la Cultura de Reynosa (Mexico), George Weston Hall (Canada), National Theatre (Costa Rica), and Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (Salt Lake City, UT).
International festivals and conferences at which Nahkur has appeared include The International Holland Music Sessions (The Netherlands); St. Andrew’s International Summer Festival (Canada); Reynosa International Piano Festival (Mexico); “Klaver” International Piano Festival (Estonia); and the Aspen Music Festival, TCU Cliburn International Piano Institute, TCU/Liszt International Academy Festival, Piano Texas International Academy & Festival, and West Chester International Piano Institute (U.S.).
Dr. Nahkur’s accolades include winning First Prize in the Estonian National Piano Competition and Yamaha Foundation National Competition in Estonia. He was National Winner of the Eurovision International Competition for Musicians in Austria, Special Prize winner in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (Russia), and recipient of the Harold Von Mickwitz Prize (U.S.), Golden Medal of Merit (Canada), Diplomat of Nation Certificate of Merit (Estonia), and Kawai Medallion Educator Award (USA). Dr. Nahkur has also won top prizes at international piano competitions in the U.S., Greece, Italy, and Canada.
As a recording artist, Nahkur has six solo CDs to his credit, demonstrating his virtuosity in diverse styles and genres ranging from classical masterworks, to music of lesser-known composers and his own arrangements. His album DeusExClavier reached the top of the music charts in Europe and was named “Record of the Year” by ZEIT-ONLINE in Germany. He also won Global Music Awards for Waltzing Mephisto by the Danube (U.S.) and Lisztomania, Vol. 1 (U.S.). His latest solo CD Lisztomania Vol. 2 was released in May, 2022.
A native of Estonia, Dr. Nahkur received his early training at the Tallinn Music High School and the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. He relocated to the U.S. for additional studies and earned degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (B.M.), Yale University (M.M.), and University of North Texas (D.M.A.). He holds artist and performer’s diplomas from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, as well as an artist diploma from Texas Christian University. His principal teachers include Pamela Mia Paul, Joaquín Achúcarro, Tamás Ungár, Gabriel Chodos, Boris Berman, Erna Saar, Aleksandra Juozapenaite-Eesmaa, Ülle Sisa, and his parents, Anu and Toivo Nahkur.
Passionate about inspiring students to express themselves musically at the highest level possible, Dr. Nahkur has 17 years of teaching experience and served on the faculties of the University of Dallas (TX), Lexington Music School (MA), and Ft. Worth Academy of Fine Arts (TX). Additionally, he has appeared as recitalist and masterclass clinician at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (U.S.), presented masterclasses in Europe and North America, served as a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas, and been active as a private studio instructor in Dallas, TX; New Haven, CT; and Tallinn, Estonia.
In addition to his career as a performer and teacher, Nahkur serves as Director of Music at Christ Lutheran Church in Dallas. His A Holy Night, 10 Arrangements of Timeless Carols has been published in the U.S. by Alfred Music. Dr. Nahkur’s research paper “Two Men, One Vision” was chosen for publication in Estonia’s premier cultural journal Theatre/Music/Cinema and named one of the top 5 articles for 2020.