Vadym Kholodenko

Vadym Kholodenko (born 1986, in Kyiv) is a Ukrainian pianist, and winner of the gold medal at the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition,[1] who captured the attention of jury, audience, and critics alike for "mesmerizing and exhilarating" performances that brought the crowd to their feet, "[cheering] him like a rock star".[2]

Vadym Kholodenko
Vadym Kholodenko.jpg
Kholodenko after a concert
Born (1986-09-04) September 4, 1986 (age 34)
OccupationClassical pianist
Children2 (deceased)
Awards2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, First Prize
Musical career
LabelsHarmonia Mundi

Also taking home prizes for best performance of the piano quintet and best performance of a commissioned work,[3] Vadym highlighted the Final Round with two concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. His cadenza in Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467, which he wrote on the plane,[4] was praised as "fascinatingly contrapuntal," showing "the guts of a true superartist."[5]

Kholodenko performed over 50 engagements in 2013–14 as part of his debut season as Cliburn Gold Medalist, including the Bakersfield (CA) Symphony Orchestra, the Mann Center with The Philadelphia Orchestra, La Jolla Music Society, CU Presents, Cliburn Concerts, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Lied Center of Kansas, and Portland Piano International. Also part of his prize package, recording label harmonia mundi usa released a live CD of his award-winning Van Cliburn Competition performances on November 12, 2013,[6] followed by a studio recording.

Kholodenko has worked with Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Spivakov, Constantine Orbelian, Mark Gorenstein, Alexander Rudin, Dmitry Liss, Eugeny Bushkov, Alexander Sladkovsky, and other distinguished conductors, and has performed across the globe in Austria, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States. He released recordings of Liszt, Rachmaninov, and Medtner on Russia's TV Culture label in 2009. An avid chamber musician as well, he performed and recorded a CD with violinist Alena Baeva, and formed a piano duo with Andrey Gugnin which they dubbed "iDuo." The duo has released a recording with Delos Records.[7]

In addition to his Cliburn victory, Kholodenko has also taken first prize at the Maria Callas International Piano Competition (2004),[8] Sendai International Music Competition (2010),[9] and International Schubert Competition (Dortmund, 2011).[10]

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Vadym Kholodenko is the first musician in his family. He made his first appearances in the United States, China, Hungary, and Croatia at the age of 13. In 2005, Kholodenko moved to Moscow to study at the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Vera Gornostaeva.

On March 17, 2016, his two daughters were found dead inside their Benbrook, Texas, home. The two young daughters died of an unknown source. Kholodenko's estranged wife, Sofia Tsygankova, was also found inside the Benbrook residence, with stab wounds. Police indicated that Kholodenko is not a suspect.[11] On March 21, 2016, Tsygankova was arrested and charged with the deaths of the two children.[12] On July 16, 2018, a judge found Tsygankova not guilty by reason of insanity, but ordered her committed to a psychiatric hospital.[13]


  • Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.6 & Visions Fugitives (2020)


  1. ^ "Winners". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  2. ^ 06/08/13 at 1:10am by Janelle Gelfand   Comments (2012-12-17). "The Cliburn, second night | Arts in Focus". Retrieved 2014-01-11.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Vadym Kholodenko". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  4. ^ "Cliburn Impromptus". TheaterJones. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  5. ^ Dunn, Jeff (2013-06-09). "Artistry Emerges at the Van Cliburn : San Francisco Classical Voice". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  6. ^ "2013 Cliburn Winners this Fall: CD Releases and Concert Tours". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  7. ^ "iDuo". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  8. ^ "Latest Competition Results". Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  9. ^ "Prizewinners | Past Competitions | Sendai International Music Competition". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  10. ^ "Internationaler Schubert-Wettbewerb Dortmund e. V. XII. Klavier 2011 01. - 10. Oktober 2011 Orchesterzentrum NRW - Preise Prizes". Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  11. ^ Heinz, Frank. "Pianist Not a Suspect in Children's Deaths, Wife's Stabbing; Woman Held for Mental Health Evaluation: Police". NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  12. ^ Merchant, Nomaan. "Pianist's Estranged Wife Charged With Killing 2 Daughters". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Wife of Cliburn winner found not guilty by reason of insanity in daughters' deaths". star-telegram. Retrieved 2018-07-16.