Watch: How to play the piano with heart failure

Watch: How to play the piano with heart failure


norman lebrecht

April 29, 2022

We have received this clip of Alexander Toradze finishing the 2nd Shostakovich piano concerto.

He seems barely able to rise from his piano stool. Doctors later diagnosed that he experienced acute heart failure.

His fortitude is, by any measure, astonishing.


  • Nik_f says:

    Gergievs pet!!!

  • Una says:

    Here a very interesting interview that Bruce Duffie did with him in Chicago some years ago.

  • music lover says:

    He is clearly unwell….Smudging the passages,getting somehow through,and being totally exhausted at the end.Thank God it wasn´t too late for him!!!!

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    A real trooper.

  • Novagerio says:

    That’s a true soldier.

  • Francis Crociata says:

    A similar incident occurred on May 5, 1973 at the annual Butler University Romantic Music Festival in Indianapolis, IN. Gunnar Johansen performed what was then billed as the original version (actually the second of three versions) of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 4 with the Louisville Orchestra under Jorge Mester. Johansen suffered a heart attack during the second movement and managed to complete the performance, though the subsequent scheduled recording was scrubbed. Wits at the time claimed his playing was best after the cardiac incident.