David Toradze, an exceptional musical talent since his childhood, simultaneously studied piano and composition in a group of talented children at The Tbilisi Conservatoire under Professors A. Virsaladze and S. Barkhudariani. Between 1939 and 1941, Guguli perfected his art of composition under composer R. Glière at The Moscow Conservatory.
Toradze begun actively composing in 1940s. His first symphony premiered in 1946 and his first opera in 1947. Toradze’s acclaimed ballet Gorda received its premiere in 1949 and was immediately recognized as an important landmark in the Georgian musical and choreographic art. The ballet was successfully staged in Moscow, Hungary, Poland, at the International Ballet Art Festival in Paris and in various countries around the world. The ballet For Peace created on the theme of the Second World War achieved the same success. Subsequently, the audiences warmly welcomed composer’s new opera Bride of the North presented at the Decade of Georgian Art and Literature and dedicated to the history of A. Griboedov and N. Chavchavadze.
In 1977, David Toradze created music for the film-ballet Mtsyri. In the same year, it was staged and directed by the famous ballet master Mikhail Lavrovsky and went on to win the Grand Prix at the prestigious International Ballet Film Festival in New York. Among the abundance of creative work of David Toradze are further two symphonies, an overture Rokva, a cycle of choral poems Georgian Sketches, a piano concerto to mention but a few.
Toradze’s musical scores for songs and film music have been the staples of Georgian culture since their creatio. Among the most noteworthy are: The first day – the last day, Paliastomi, A meeting with the past and Is a man a human?!.
Whilst Toradze was a prolific composer he was also a gifted teacher who taught at The Tbilisi Conservatoire from1953 until 1973. David Toradze was awarded various awards, among them the Laureate of the State Prize.
Married to Liana Asatiani, a renowned film actress and Honored Artist of Georgia until his death; children – Alexander (Lexo) Toradze,one of the world’s most illustrious pianists and their devoted daughter/Sister, a musician in her own right, Nino Toradze.
Alexander (Lexo) Toradze
Alexander Toradze was universally recognized as a masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition. He has enriched the Great Russian pianistic heritage with his own unorthodox interpretative conceptions, deeply poetic lyricism, and intensely emotional excitement.
Alexander Toradze’s recording of all five Prokofiev concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra for the Philips label is considered definitive among critics. Additionally, International Piano Quarterly named his recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 “historically the best on record” (from among over seventy recordings). Other highly successful recordings have included Scriabin’s Prometheus: The Poem of Fire with the Kirov Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, as well as recital albums of the works of Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Ravel, and Prokofiev for the Angel/EMI label. He has also recorded the two Piano concerti by Shostakovich with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi.
Born in Tbilisi on May 30, 1952, Alexander Toradze was the son of the leading Georgian composer David Toradze and film star Liana Asatiani. He graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and toured the West as a Soviet artist, soon becoming one of the leading pianists of his generation after winning the silver medal at the 1977 Cliburn Competition.
He defected in 1983 and moved to the United States in 1991 where he was appointed the Martin Endowed Professor in Piano at Indiana University South Bend and became an internationally acclaimed teacher for over 25 years. In 1995 he created the Toradze Piano Studio which developed into a worldwide touring ensemble receiving critical acclaim for performance projects in Europe and the US. Talents from all-over the world have been realizing piano marathons dedicated to iconic composers for piano such as Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, which have been presented in major concert halls and festivals, including the Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, the Rome Santa Cecilia in Italy, the Salzburg Festival in Austria and the Ruhr Piano Festival in Germany.
Alexander Toradze appeared as soloist with most major orchestras in the world, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Among his best friends, some of the leading conductors of today such as Valery Gergiev, Esa Pekka Salonen, Yukka Pekka Saraste, Mikko Frank, Neeme, Paavo and Kristian Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Gianandrea Noseda, Kirill Petrenko, and also emerging talents such as Daniele Rustioni and Dima Slobodeniouk.