Van Cliburn

Cliburn confidential: Vadym Kholodenko

Cliburn confidential

21 of 30

A series of conversations with the Cliburn competitors

Vadym Kholodenko

(Pronounced VAH-deem Ko-lo-DENK-o)

Nationality: Ukrainian

Born: Kiev, Ukraine

Lives: Moscow

Age: 26

Earliest musical memories: “My mother brought me to musical school in Kiev, Ukraine,” he says. “It was [the] sweet ’90s.”

What he misses most when he is away from home: “My daughter,” he says.

Hobbies and interests outside of piano: History, philosophy, movies and “programming,” he says on his application. His favorite movie is Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. The celebrity he’d most like to meet, he says, is Tom Waits.

Currently in his CD player or iPod? Radiohead’s Airbag

If he had to pick a composer to play above all others, it would be: Stephen Reich. “Easy to memorize,” he says.

If he could travel back in time, which famous composer would he like to visit and what would he ask? “I would like to visit Mozart and ask him to write more music,” he says.

Contemporary pianist he most admires: Boris Berezovsky

The first really Texan thing he plans on doing upon arriving in Fort Worth: “Buy San Antonio Spurs souvenirs,” he says.

His Cliburn dream: “[To play on the] perfect Steinway on stage,” he says. In his application he adds, “I would like to widen my musical horizon and express my thoughts and impressions to [the] audience. Communication between musician and audience is the most important thing from my point of view. I hope this challenge will help me to achieve a new level of music experience and maturity.”

— Andrew Marton,

Special to the Star-Telegram