Georgia is one of the most culturally rich and diverse nations. The Toradze family is one of the leading musical and cultural dynasties whose impact has been felt internationally for decades.
Headed by legendary composer David Toradze (1922-1983) whose legacy was continued by his pianist son Alexander Toradze and cultural philanthropist daughter Nino Toradze.
When Alexander Toradze, one of the world’s most beloved pianists, died last year the world of music lost one of its leading performers and teachers. His family, led by Nino Toradze, have formed the Toradze Foundation to honour the memories and artistic impact of the family in Georgia and internationally. The Toradze Foundation is committed to Georgian culture across the world. The Foundation has been joined by Georgia’s Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth and the Georgian Chanting Foundation in making the family’s vision a reality with the establishment of the Toradze International Festival.
The annual Toradze International Music Festival will take place every May and June in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. The inaugural edition of the Festival will open on May 30th this year and run until June 7th, presenting some of the greatest classical musicians of today alongside those of tomorrow.
The Festival’s Artistic Director is Dr. Edisher Savitski. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda and violinist Maxim Vengerov are the Festival’s Patrons.
The music of David Toradze will feature in both a concert dedicated to his memory and the inclusion of two short pieces by him in the Festival’s opening concert.
The Festival’s programme includes the opening gala featuring Vladimir Feltsman playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 at the beautiful Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre
with the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Matchavariani (30 May). The Armenian-American pianist Sergei Babayan will take on Bach’s Goldberg Variations (3 June), and the following day Mirian Khukhunaishvili conducts the Tbilisi Youth Orchestra in a concert including Beethoven’s mighty Eroica Symphony (4 June), both in the Grand Hall of the Tbilisi State Conservatory. Christian Blackshaw performs Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Kakhidze alongside Beethoven’s whirlwind Seventh Symphony (6 June). And the closing Festival concert features Maxim Vengerov duetting with Roustem Saitkoulov in an exciting programme of Clara and Robert Schumann, Brahms, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky (7 June).
A committed and devoted teacher, Alexander Toradze’s pedagogic legacy continues with the Festival providing young musicians with resources to develop and showcase their talent to as broad a demographic as possible. Some of his former students will perform Prokofiev’s nine piano sonatas (1 June) and attend a series of masterclasses at the Tbilisi State Conservatory. These are being held every day from 31 May to 6 June.
As well as presenting classical masterpieces, the festival includes an evening of Georgian folk music performed by the State Ensemble of Georgian Folk Song “Basiani”, directed by Giorgi Donadze (2 June).
Nino Toradze, Founder of the Toradze Foundation, commented:
“My brother was the most generous-hearted man you could ever hope to meet. That generosity of spirit was joyfully evident in his playing and his commitment to teaching and his many pupils. His family wish to support his legacy by establishing a foundation in his honour that will promote the culture of his birthplace. We are all grateful to the musicians who responded so quickly and with such enthusiasm to our invitation to participate in the Festival.”