VANCOUVER 〓 Pianist Alexander Toradze Passed way at 69, who endured a heart attack during a performance and played until the end


Alexander Toradze, a pianist from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and a resident of the United States, died of heart failure on April 10 at the age of 69.

Toradze appeared at a Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concert on April 23 and played Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 2 until the end, despite suffering a heart attack while playing the piece. He was hospitalized immediately afterward in an emergency room.

His father, a composer who was a professor at the Tbilisi State Conservatory in the former Soviet Union, and his mother, a film actor, graduated from the Moscow Conservatory.

After winning second prize at the 5th “Van Cliburn International Piano Competition” in 1977, he took a teaching position at his alma mater, the Moscow Conservatory, but defected to the United States in 1983. In 1991, he became a professor at Indiana University South Bend.

His university courses, which continued until his retirement in 2017, attracted students from home and abroad, establishing his reputation as an educator. As a performer, he also showed his commitment to Russian music, with Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky at the center of his repertoire.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1972, is based in Vancouver, Washington, a state located in the northwestern corner of the U.S. Salvador Brotons, a native of Spain, has been its musical director since 1991, and he conducted the performance on the 23rd when the incident occurred.

According to local reports at the time, Toradze had been feeling ill for several days prior to the 23rd, but performed after repeated tests for the new strain of corona came back negative.

Before the performance, an announcement was made to the audience that the soloist’s appearance might be cancelled in a hurry, and that Toradze appeared on stage accompanied by a doctor.

Photo:Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

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