First place in the 14th International Piano Competition goes to 26-year-old Ukrainian Vadym Kholodenko
After 17 days of music making, 26-year old Ukrainian Vadym Kholodenko has triumphed over 30 other pianists to win the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He takes home the Nancy Lee and Perry R Bass Gold Medal, the Van Cliburn Winner's Cup and a cash prize of $50,000. He also receives studio and live recordings produced by Harmonia Mundi USA, and will embark upon international and US concert tours as part of his award.
Kholodenko told the press he was glad that his mother at home in Kiev could watch him perform online while his pianist wife and their toddler watched in Moscow. "She tried not to criticize too much because she understood the pressure," he told Associated Press after winning Sunday night, referring to his wife. "She was supportive, like all of my family and friends….Before the Mozart I had to turn my phone off because I was getting so many calls and texts."
Winners of the Silver and Crystal awards were Italian Beatrice Rana and Sean Chen from California. Rana, a popular performer with the audiences, was felt by many to have deserved to carry off the top prize. Each receive $20,000, US concert tours, a live recording produced by Harmonia Mundi USA and career management.
Born in Kiev, Vadym Kholodenko won first prize at the International Schubert Competition in Dortmund in 2012, and the Sendai International Music Competition in 2010. He has worked with conductors Yuri Bashmet and Vladimir Spivakov, and has performed extensively in Europe, Asia and America. He released recordings of Liszt, Rachmaninov, and Medtner on Russia's TV Culture label in 2009. An enthusiastic chamber musician, he currently attends the Moscow Conservatory.
This year’s competition took place between May 24 and June 9 at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall in Texas. Founded in 1962 in honour of the late Van Cliburn – himself the winner of the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition – the competition is held every four years, hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation. Members of this year’s jury included John Giordano from the United States and pianist Dmitri Alexeev from Russia.
You can compare the three winners below.