The pianist who played on through heart failure has diedRIP
We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alexander Toradze, the phenomenal Georgian pianist, who suffered heart failure while performing a Shostakovich concerto but played right on to the end.
Lexo was a few days short of 70.
A great bear of a man, he hung out with Valery Gergiev in the early 90s (when I knew him) before taking a professorship in Indiana and opting for a peripatetic solo career.
He will be sorely missed.
The conductor Gerard Schwarz writes: Last night, May 10th, a great artist and great man, Alexander Toradze died in South Bend, Indiana. I’ve known Lexo for over forty years and have made music with him with repertoire from Mozart and Beethoven, the great Russian romantics, Ravel and many other important works. In each instance, he performed with extraordinary technique, beautiful sound, and the most imaginative interpretations I have ever heard. Whenever I heard him play a concerto, his interpretation stayed with me every time I did that work, no matter who played.
Lexo was a dear friend to our whole family and was loved by us all. His warmth, curiosity, generosity, sense of humor, and brilliance were appreciated by us all with admiration and love. He recently played a thrilling performance of the Ravel concerto with the Palm Beach Symphony, and we were all so excited and looking forward to his Prokofiev 3rd concerto at the Eastern Music Festival this coming July. What a great loss to me, my family, and the wonderful music loving public, who so admired him.