OBITUARY: TEMURI AKHOBADZE, PIANIST & WELL-LOVED TEACHER PASSES AWAY SUDDENLY
It was a great shock to hear of the untimely passing of a very close friend, the wonderful Georgian pianist and teacher Temuri Akhobadze (1947-2014). We first met years ago as judges of the Palm Beach Invitational Piano Competition. While enjoying a successful career in New York City, he did not forget his less fortunate students whom he continued to help. Besides teaching and playing recitals, he gave master classes which were always well received. When I gave master classes in Tibilsi, Georgia, it was obvious to me that he was much loved by the musical community. He will be laid to rest in his native country. Temuri Akhobodze is survived by his wife, Marie Claude, his daughter, Natalie and step- daughter Cecile.
Below is his official bio.
Temuri Akhobadze, Distinguished Artist of the Republic of Georgia, is recognized for carrying on the legacy of the traditional old school of 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.
Born to a musical family in Tbilisi, Georgia, Temuri began studying piano at the Special School for Gifted Children at the age of five. After graduating from the Tbilisi State Conservatory with the highest honors, he continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory for ten years, first as a student of Yakov Milstein and then as Professor Milstein’s assistant. In his comments about Temuri’s Ph.D. performance in the Conservatory’s Tchaikovsky Hall, Milstein wrote “I have no need to describe Temuri’s playing in words; listen to him play 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, Temuri 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.
In 1992, Temuri decided to move to America. In his first recital, he said hello to his new country with the same Scriabin Preludes you can hear on the Classical Archives. Since then, he has become a Steinway Artist and a member of the Palm Beach International Piano Competition Jury, where his duties include leading master classes and performing recitals. His most recent appearances include solo performances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Tanglewood Music Festival, as well as a gala concert in Jerusalem celebrating Israeli-Georgian friendship. In April of 2000, Temuri returned to Tbilisi to receive the “Order of Honor” from President Eduard Shevernadze.