Alexander Toradze is internationally recognised by musicians, critics and audiences
alike as a masterful keyboard virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition. Distinguished
above all for the highly emotional intensity of his playing, he has enriched the great
Russian pianistic heritage with his own boldly unorthodox interpretative conceptions,
deeply poetic lyricism and visceral excitement.
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Alexander Toradze graduated in 1978 from the Tchaikovsky
Conservatory in Moscow. In 1983, while on tour with the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra of
Moscow, he requested asylum at the American Embassy in Madrid and has since made his home
in the United States, and repeatedly appeared with virtually every major North American
orchestra, including those of New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota,
Philadelphia, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Washington DC. He has collaborated with such
leading conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Valery
Gergiev, Zdenec Macal, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Mtislav
Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Gerard Schwarz, Klaus Tennstedt and
Mr. Toradze recently appeared with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra in
Düsseldorf and six North American Cities, including New York, San Francisco and
Washington DC. He rejoined Maestro Gergiev with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
and again with the Kirov Orchestra in London’s Barbican Hall. He also appeared with
Zdenec Macal conducting the Milwaukee Symphony and Gerard Schwarz leading the Seattle
Symphony, as well as performances in Minneapolis, Hong Kong and Santiago. He also appeared
with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, the Saarbrücken
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester. In Italy he performed with the Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano
and gave a number of recitals. With the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery
Gergiev, he gave concerts in Rotterdam, as part of the Gergiev Festival, as well as during
the London Proms and in Athens.
Mr. Toradze freqently appears at summer festivals such as the White Nights Festival in
St. Petersburg, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga, Blossom, Waterloo, Concertgebouw,
Schleswig-Holstein and the Mikkeli Festival in Finland.
Mr. Toradze has recorded for Angel/EMI. His recording of Musorgsky's Pictures at an
Exhibition and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit was greeted with great acclaim. John
Ardoin wrote in the Dallas Morning News: `We have a compact disc of rampant
imagination, colour and pianistic prowess. The result is as orchestral as a single piano
could hope to be…such a rare and theatrical listening experience.' He has also
recorded all five Prokofiev Concertos for the Philips Classics label, which can be heard
on the GMN site.
In August 1991, Alexander Toradze was appointed the Martin Endowed Professor in Piano
at Indiana University South Bend. The members of his multinational piano studio have won
honours at prestigious piano competitions and perform with orchestras and on recital
series throughout the world. Mr. Toradze resides in South Bend with his wife and two sons.