2011 Governor's Arts Awards Spotlight: Alexander Toradze

In the almost 20 years that have passed since Alexander Toradze’s arrival in South Bend, he has been an immense force that has driven the artistic scene of the community.

Toradze graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and soon became a professor there. In 1983, he moved permanently to the United States. In 1991, he was appointed as the Martin Endowed Professor of Piano at Indiana University South Bend, where he has created a teaching environment unparalleled in its unique concept. The members of the multi-national Toradze Piano Studio have developed into a worldwide touring ensemble that has gathered great critical acclaim on the international level.

He has been able to attract students from Korea to Canada, from Georgia to Latvia, and from Russia to the United States. His graduates now enjoy positions at highly coveted institutions in our country, such as the New England Conservatory and Michigan State University.

Alexander Toradze not only inspires his piano students. To the Indiana University South Bend faculty, he is a true role model of high ethical and professional standards, as well as generosity and devotion to the students.

 “I’m honored, appreciative and pleased to be recipient of the 2011 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award,” Toradze said. “Indiana University South Bend has been and continues to be a place of nurture for great many young, talented pianists from around the world. I am happy to have the chance to continue passing on my knowledge and experience to the future generations of keyboard artists. I am also glad to see how much the local community is committed to support IUSB’s educational projects; this is a constant source of inspiration and motivation for all of us.”

Alexander Toradze represents one of the most important living figures of piano performance in the grand Romantic tradition. He also has a very compelling personal story – from his defection from the U.S.S.R. to his arrival to South Bend – a life wonderfully portrayed by the two-Emmy-winner documentary “Kicking the Notes the Toradze Way” produced by South Bend’s Public Television station WNIT.

The other recipients of the 2011 Governor’s Arts Awards are:
June Edwards, Sylvia McNair, Susann McDonald, Mark Fauser, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

The recipients will be honored during an awards ceremony and dinner Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Ernestine M. Raclin School for the Arts on the campus of Indiana University South Bend.