The 21st May Festival in Guadalajara will showcase a talented Ukrainian pianist who is slowly getting his life back together after suffering a major personal tragedy two years ago.
Vadym Kholodenko moved to Dallas, Texas with his family after his career started to take off in the wake of winning the gold medal at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. His notoriety grew while performing with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and at the Portland Piano International, among others.
But the pianist’s life came crashing down when his two daughters, Nika, 5, and Michaela, 1, were killed in their Benbrook home in March 2016.
By that time Kholodenko had become estranged from his wife Sofya Tsygankova and was living at another address.
Kholodenko discovered the bodies of his children when he came to take them to school.
Police subsequently charged Tsygankova with the murders of her children. She was initially declared incompetent to stand trial and treated in a state mental health facility. That ruling was subsequently overturned and last June was charged with capital murder and deemed fit to stand trial. Her lawyers have said she will plead not guilty and present an insanity defense .
Meanwhile, Kholodenko has returned to performing, something he says “is part of me” and that he “doesn’t want to hide.”
Guadalajara concertgoers will get to see this talented artist in a solo recital, Wednesday, May 23 at the Teatro Degollado, the main venue of the Festival de Mayo. Kholodenko will also be the guest soloist at the festival’s closing event on Friday, May 25, a concert by the Jalisco Philharmonic conducted by Marco Parisotto, with works by Henri Dutillex, Frederic Chopin and Maurice Ravel.