Obituary: Pianist Alexander Toradze, 69

Posted on: May 13, 2022

“Alexander Toradze, a solo classical concert pianist who was best known for his Russian repertoire, has died in hospital aged 69,” writes Sophia Alexandra Hall in Thursday’s (5/12) Classic FM (UK). “On 23 April, the Georgian-American pianist performed two concertos with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, USA, both during the first half of a concert. During the second of the two concertos, he experienced acute heart failure while performing, but Toradze kept on playing, unaware of the medical danger. The musician was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center the following day, where doctors told him what had happened on stage, and he was kept in hospital for observation, before being released. Toradze died just over two weeks later on 10 May at his home in South Bend, Indiana. He had been due to perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Illinois Philharmonic this coming Saturday…. Born in the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1952, Toradze trained at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow…. Toradze was on tour with the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra in 1983 [when] he defected, requesting asylum at the American Embassy in Madrid…. The musician made his home in the United States, becoming the professor of piano at Indiana University South Bend, and continued playing with multiple major orchestras across America as a soloist.”