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Vadym Kholodenko

The winner of the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013, Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko is a major rising star on the keyboard, a charismatic exemplar of the Russian school of pianism. Kholodenko was born in 1986 in Kiev, then part of the Soviet Union. He was the first musician in his family, and he made appearances in Croatia, the United States, Hungary, and China in his early teens, and he won first prize at the Maria Callas International Piano Competition in 2005. Feeling the need for more rigorous instruction, however, he enrolled the following year at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, studying with Vera Gornostaeva. Kholodenko notched several more competition wins and toured the globe in the late 2000s and early 2010s. He released several recordings of virtuoso repertory -- Liszt, Medtner, Rachmaninov -- on Russia's TV Culture label, and he performed and recorded chamber music with violinist Alena Baeva and in the piano duo iDuo with Andrey Gugnin. Even with these successes, he was only one of a number of rising young pianists until his Van Cliburn Competition triumph in Texas, fueled in part by a cadenza for the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, that he composed on the plane on the way to the competition. In addition to a large cash prize, the competition win came with a three-year tour and a release of his live competition performances on the Harmonia Mundi USA label. Kholodenko moved to Fort Worth, the site of the Cliburn competition. He then recorded several albums for Russia's Melodiya label while continuing to tour. In 2018, he returned to Harmonia Mundi with a recital of preludes, etudes, and sonatas by Scriabin.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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