Arts & Culture

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra forms ‘artistic partnership’ with Cliburn winner Kholodenko

Local fans of 2013 Cliburn gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko will get to see a lot more of him in coming years.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra announced it has formed an “artistic partnership” with Kholodenko, which will bring the 27-year-old Ukrainian pianist back to Fort Worth stages multiple times over the next three concert seasons and will include a professional recording with the orchestra.

“I have been searching for more than 10 years for an exceptional artist to serve as the FWSO’s first artistic partner — a performer of the highest caliber who would commit to the vision and efforts of the FWSO over several seasons,” orchestra Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya said in a news release. “I believe we have identified and secured such an artist with Vadym Kholodenko.”

The highlight of the partnership will be performances by Kholodenko and the orchestra of the complete cycle of five Prokofiev piano concerts: Nos. 2 and 5 in the 2014-15 concert season; Nos. 1 and 4 in the 2015-16 season; and No. 3 ( which he played with the orchestra in the final round of the Cliburn) sometime during his three-year commitment.

All five performances will be recorded on the Harmonia Mundi label and will be sold in a box set, a project underwritten by longtime orchestra patron Mercedes Bass.

Kholodenko will also appear with members of the orchestra for chamber performances, including a January concert in the Kimbell Art Museum’s Piano Pavilion, and possibly at community events such as master classes and donor parties.

While the orchestra calls Kholodenko its “first” artistic partner, a spokeswoman for the company said future artistic partnerships will depend on Harth-Bedoya’s “finding the talent that is not only a good match but also has the availability to work with us consistently.” The orchestra will continue its widely acclaimed composer-in-residence program, which champions works by contemporary composers, she said.

Harth-Bedoya was a professed fan of Kholodenko during the Cliburn competition, which took place in May and June. After Kholodenko’s solo recital of Franz Liszt’s mammoth Transcendental Etudes, the conductor told the Star-Telegram, “An hour later, I realized I hadn’t blinked for an entire hour with all the Liszt, and to do that to me … it was amazing what he had delivered.”