Pianist Andrejs Osokins of Latvia has won the 3rd prize at the 7th London International Piano Competition. The competition, established in 1991 as one of the finest music competitions in the world, takes place once in every three years. Jury invited Osokins to be one of the 24 participants, who competed in London from April 18 to April 28 after examining hundreds of applications. Only three pianists, among which also Osokins, moved forward to compete in the competitions finale. The finale took place at the Royal Festival hall, performing together with London Philharmonic Orchestra. I performed Piano Concerto No.1 by F.Liszt. I was so delighted to notice [Latvian] Kristīne Blaumane performing in the competitions finale as the Principal Cello of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrejs Osokins shared his impressions and joy in a brief telephone conversations from London. "It is a lucky year for pianists from Latvia," he rejoiced, reminding also about the victory of his counterpart Vestards Šimkus at the prestigious Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona earlier this spring.
As the winner of the 3rd prize of the competition, A.Osokins will receive a money prize of GBP 7,000 and will be offered concert engagements in several countries.
Andrejs Osokins has graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music and has obtained masters degree at the London Royal Academy of Music in the United Kingdom. For his artistic achievements, Osokins received the highest honors of Latvian music the Latvian Grand Music Award - for the "Debut of the Year" this spring; he is also the winner of the Latvian Academy of Music and Swedbank annual awards. His other musical achievements include qualifying for the semifinal of the Montreal International Musical Competition; winning the first prize of the 5th International Jāzeps Vītols Piano Competition in Riga and, just a month later the Beethoven Piano Competition in London.
Andrejs Osokins comes from a family of pianists and still continues to learn piano play from his father. "Being a student of ones own father is rather unusual. I have been studying with from the first year at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School in Riga. Now also my 13-years old brother Grigorijs is my fathers student. However, my dad always knew how to separate family and work. He never taught me piano play at home I could only receive advice from him during the school classes. Father never pushed me to practice and thus did not provoke a protest against piano in me," Osokins reveals to the newspaper "Diena".
Inspired by his fathers example, years ago A.Osokins chose in favor of piano, although he was also one of the most talented and successful students of the Riga Chess School and winner of Latvian Junior Chess Championships.