Vadym Kholodenko

Ukrainian pianist (Kiev, 1986 - )

Awarded the gold medal at the prestigious Van Cliburn Inter-national Piano Competition in 2013, young pianist Vadym Kholodenko is unanimously acclaimed as one of the most gift-ed pianists of his generation. His debut in Génération Jeunes Interprètes on France Musique took place on September 27, 2014.

Brought up playing music with his family, Vadym Kholodenko began studying the piano in 1994 in Kiev’s Special School of Music Mykola Lysenko, under Natalia Grydneva and Borys Fedorov’s supervision. At age 13, he had already toured the United States, China, Hungary and Croatia.

Laureate of the National Prize for Young "Triumph" in Russia, he moved to Moscow, where he continued his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Vera Gornostaeva's class. In parallel with his soloist career, Vadym Kholodenko is a sought-after chamber musician: he has been awarded first prize for his interpretation of César Franck's Piano Quintet at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition. He collaborated with violinist Alena Baeva with whom he recorded a vast catalog of pieces from the chamber music repertoire in Japan. Vadym Kholodenko is also a composer and arranger and regularly works with pianist Andrey Gugnin, who co-founded the iDuo with him. His recordings include works composed with Gugnin, but also recitals dedicated to Schubert, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Medtner and other more contemporary composers.

He has performed in recital or with orchestra in Ukraine, Russia, the United States, China, Japan, several European countries and Israel. The most prominent conductors have collaborated with him: Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Spivakov, Mark Gorenstein, Alexander Rudin, Dmitry Liss, Eugeny Bushkov or Alexander Sladkovskiy. His award at the Van Cliburn Competition led to an international tour, with more than fifty concerts in Europe, Asia and the United States. He is artist-in-residence at the prestigious Mariinsky Concert Hall and has been named "Artist of the Month" by Valery Gergiev.

Vadym Kholodennko in six questions:

• What led you to music?

My mother

• Your first musical shock?

Beethoven's Sonata No. 14, which my mother sight-readed.

• In your discipline which musician moves you, why?

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli for his musical tastes, ideas, playing and career choices, especially the fact that he gave very few concerts.

• What record would you take to a desert island?

Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 7.

• Which teacher had the biggest impact on you during your studies? Why?

Vera Gornostaeva played the most important role in my training as a musician. She represents a certain idea of music that is very close to mine. She embodies the Russian school and its traditions.

• How did you plan the programme of the recital you will perform at Radio France?

It was Lucas Genuchas, grandson of Vera Gornostaeva and a young pianist who introduced me to Medtner's Fairy Tales and Balakirev's Sonata, and I immediately fell in love with this music. It is very Russian. It moves me a lot.

“Petrouchka " also is a very Russian music. It is on the advice of my teacher Vera Gornostaeva that I started to play it and I have since integrated it into almost all my programmes. I played it at the Van Cliburn Competition and Harmonia Mundi recorded it, as well as the Transcendental Études during my performance.

Four landmark dates in the life of Vadym Kholodenko:

2004: Winner of the National Award for Young "Triumph" in Russia
2011: First prize at the "Schubert" International Piano Competition in Dortmund
2010: First prize at the International Piano Competition in Sendai
2009: Grand Prize at the Maria Callas Competition in Athens

Two key recordings by Vadym Kholodenko:

Stravinsky: Three Movements of Petrouchka, Liszt: Transcendental Études, Harmonia Mundi

Rachmaninov, Medtner, Delos

Vadym Kholodenko in video:

Vadym Kholodenko - Hungarian Rhapsody no19 of... by France Musique