Van Cliburn winner:

Van Cliburn winner:

  • Concert Review.

Texas-born pianist Van Cliburn died a few months ago. Do you remember the excitement he created when he won the First International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, back in 1958?

Cliburn had a ticker-tape parade in New York City; he was the only musician to be honored that way, and this was followed by an amazing musical career. Years later, Mr. Cliburn established a musical competition for new promising pianists.

Vadym Kholodenko, piano Winner of the 2013 Cliburn Competition, presented a concert on Sunday, Oct 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM at the Sunset Cultural Center Carmel, CA. I attended the concert, and I was particularly impressed with Mr. Kholodenko’s pianistic touch, his excellent adherence to rhythm, and his sensitive playing.

Mr. Kholodenko presented a concert that was quite contrasting in its content. In the first half, we heard an excellent performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata #1 in D-minor. This was a confident, definitive statement of a very interesting work by the composer; it forecasted similar themes and styles, which Rachmaninov later used in his piano concerto #3.

Clearly, Mr. Kholodenko showed that he is a terrific, thoughtful, and confident pianist. I particularly liked the way he built an emotional climax at the appropriate places, with a long, steady, and effective crescendo.

The second half of the concert included Rachmaninov’s arrangements of works by Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Kreisler.

Many forces are factors in a young artist’s potential future success. One of these is how the artist will survive the rigors of a tough travel schedule. If Mr. Kholodenko can figure that out, we will surely hear more from him in the future.

Here is the PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26, with Vadym Kholodenko, performing at the Cliburn competition, where he won the Gold Medal:


And next, here he is playing Petroushka by Stravinsky at the Cliburn 2013 competition:


Tags: Vadym Kholodenko, piano, Winner, 2013 Cliburn Competition