Vadym Kholodenko, pianist

Who or what inspired you to take up the piano and pursue a career in music?

My mother was the one who brought me into classical music. She learned to play the piano when she was a child, and in our house we had an upright, not to mention many recordings of classical repertoire.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

My teachers: Nataliya Gridneva, Borys Fedorov and Vera Gornostaeva.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

How one perceives and evaluates a concert performance or a recording, changes during the course of time. I consider my latest release with Scriabin solo works for Harmonia Mundi being the most representative of my musical ideas.

Which particular works do you think you play best?

Ones I enjoy the most at the moment. Right now I am working on Scriabin’s Prometheus, sonatas by Schubert and Mozart and my coming recording project – a mix of etudes by Chopin and Godowsky, who, in his turn, took the canonical Chopin’s studies and rewrote most of them for the left hand alone!

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I put pieces which would make sense being together, according to my musical taste. As simple as that.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

Wigmore Hall I have found to be the best venue for a recital – with a very warm, particular sound. Minato Mirai in Yokohama and Mariinsky Concert Hall in Saint Petersburg I enjoyed the most among the contemporary concert halls.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Oscar Peterson and Brad Mehldau.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Knowing that an audience follows my musical language.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Practice and extend your knowledge as much as possible.


Vadym Kholodenko is fast building a reputation as one of the most musically dynamic and technically gifted young pianists, praised in his performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra “for his absorbing melodic shading [and] glittering passage work” (Philadelphia Enquirer).  Winner of the 2013 Cliburn Competition, Kholodenko captivated audiences and critics alike with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra immediately appointing him their first Artist in Partnership for a period of three years.  His latest solo disc on Harmonia Mundi, works by Scriabin won a prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année.  Previous awards include First Prizes at both the Schubert Piano Competition, Dortmund (2011) and Sendai Piano Competition (2010).

(Artist photo: © Ira Polyarnaya)

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