40 days have passed since the death of a distinguished Georgian pianist Temur Akhobadze, who died in New York on December 6, 2014. Akhobadze passed away from a heart attack at the age of 67.
Wednesday, January 14
Akhobadze is recognized for carrying on the legacy of the traditional old-school Russian piano playing, whose roots lie in the inspired musicianship of Franz Liszt and Alexander Siloti. This school is characterized by its romantic and spiritual approach, and its most prominent exponents include Vladimir Horowitz, Benno Moiseiwitsch, and Ignaz Friedman.
He received his first piano lessons form his mother Leila Silikashvili, Professor of piano at Tbilisi State Conservatory (Georgia). Temuri graduated from the Tbilisi Special School for gifted children, entered the Tbilisi State Conservatory and graduated with the highest honors. He continued his studies at the Moscow State Conservatory for ten years, first as a student of Yakov Milstein and then as Professor Milstein’s assistant.
In his comments about Akhobadze’s Ph.D. performance at Moscow’s Conservatory Tchaikovsky Hall, Milstein wrote:
“I have no need to describe Temuri’s playing in words, listen to him playing for only a few minutes and you will understand what an extraordinary talent he is.”
Under the auspices of the Soyuzconcert, the National Concert Management in Moscow, Temur Akhobadze performed more than 400 solo recitals and conducted master classes in major conservatories throughout the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, France, and Austria. He also became Professor of Piano at the Tbilisi State Conservatory and recorded for the Melodiya label.
He also gave piano lessons at the Havana conservatory (Cuba), where he prepared young pianists to participate in the highest-level competitions.
In 1992, Temur Akhobadze moved to the U.S. In his first recital, he said hello to his new country with the same Scriabin Preludes you can hear on the Classical Archives. He then became a Steinway artist and a member of the Palm Beach International Piano Competition Jury, where his duties included leading master-classes and performing recitals. His most recent appearances included solo performances at Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, the Tanglewood Music Festival, as well as the gala concert in Jerusalem celebrating Israeli-Georgian friendship.
In 2000 Temur Akhobadze received the order of honor from the President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze.
Temur Akhobadze was also a Professor of Lincoln Center College. His students successfully participated in international competitions in various countries.
The so-called Musical Marathon was held at New York’s Lincoln Center in 2008. Temur Akhobadze played pieces by Ravel, Schumann and List. Afterwards, in 2009, he was invited to play List’s 6th Rhapsody at the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama.
Until the end of his life Temur Akhobadze carried out intensive charity activities, participated in charity campaigns, sponsored gifted students, worked as a jury member, promoted young Georgian pianists, and kept in contact with the Tbilisi State Conservatory, his colleagues, as well as Georgia’s musical scene.