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Ukraine pianist wins world competition


FORT WORTH, Texas – Vadym Kholodenko, of Ukraine, has won the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, just four months after the death of the contest’s namesake.

Beatrice Rana, of Italy, placed second, and Sean Chen, of the United States, placed third. The other three finalists were Fei-Fei Dong, of China; Nikita Mndoyants, of Russia; and Tomoki Sakata, of Japan.

The winner receives $50,000, a live recording of his or her competition performances, a studio recording and performance attire. The second- and third-prize winners both receive $20,000 and a live recording of their competition performances. The other three each receive $10,000, and all six earn three years of concert management.

The competition, which is held every four years and remains among the top showcases for the world’s best pianists, started May 24 with 30 competitors. Some Fort Worth teachers and residents who wanted to honor Cliburn created the contest in 1962, four years after he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. His 1958 victory helped thaw the icy rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, and Cliburn gained worldwide fame and rock-star status.

Cliburn died in February at age 78 at his Fort Worth home after battling bone cancer.

Kholodenko also won awards for best performance of a new work and best performance of chamber music. He attends the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory.


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