Fort Worth — The daughters of Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, Gold Medalist of the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, were found dead in the family's rented home in Benbrook on Thursday, and his wife was stabbed multiple times, according to reports.
There has not been word of Kholodenko's location, but according to reports, there were no signs of forced entry at the house. The cause of death for the daughters, Nika, 5, and Michela, 1, has not been released; there were no physical injuries on them. The mother, Sofya I. Tsygankova, is recovering at John Peter Smith Hospital. The couple filed for divorce in November.
You can read more about the incident in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, here.
Kholodenko was to have performed Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Performance Hall this weekend.
According to a news release from the FWSO, pianist Alessio Bax will replace Kholodenko. Bax will perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, which was the work that earned Van Cliburn the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958.
The remainder of the program is unchanged. Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct the orchestra in Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, “The Dance in the Village Inn,” and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3.
Kholodenko had been playing all five of Profkofiev's piano concerti with FWSO over the past few years, and this performance of No. 3 would have been the final one. A CD of his performances of the second and fifth concerti was recently released on the label Harmona Mundi. You can watch a video presentation about the album here.
TheaterJones reviewed the previous FWSO performances with Kholodenko on the Prokofiev concerti here (Nos. 1 and 4), here (No. 5) and here (No. 2). We also covered the 2013 Cliburn competition thoroughly; here's our review of his performance in the final round.
We'll update as more is known about this story.
UPDATE (11:47 a.m. Friday, March 18): In the latest Star-Telegram story, the Benbrook police are saying that Kholodenko, who was not living at this home and arrived Thursday morning to pick up the kids when he found the scene and called 911, is not considered a suspect.
UPDATE (12:34 p.m. Friday, March 18): The Cliburn has released a statement: "The Cliburn family is mourning the loss of the precious Kholodenko girls. We are heartbroken and offer our prayers to Vadym and all affected by this overwhelming tragedy.”
UPDATE (2:03 p.m. Friday, March 18): The Fort Worth Symphony has released a statement: “The Fort Worth Symphony family is profoundly saddened by the tragic event suffered by our dear friend and artistic partner, Vadym Kholodenko,” said Amy Adkins, FWSO President and CEO. “Our Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, musicians, staff and board send deepest condolences and prayers to Vadym and his family as they grieve the unimaginable loss of these beloved children.”
UPDATE (6 p.m. Friday, March 18): Vadym Kholodenko issued this written statement: "Being in a great grief I would like to address this message to everyone who thinks about my family. The loss of my children will be with me forever. But I would like to say that I feel the support of the Fort Worth community and all people who are sending me messages all over the world. My special gratefulness is for the Castro family who supported my family and who gave special care to my daughters. I would like to ask everyone who is going to the concerts this weekend at Bass Hall to think of the music. Wherever I go after this tragedy my heart will stay with the people here of Fort Worth and my daughters will rest in this soil."