This truly terrible story is still developing out of Benbrook: Van Cliburn Competition gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko arrived at his home yesterday morning and found his daughters killed in their beds, while his estranged wife Sofya Tsygankova had suffered multiple non-life-threatening stab wounds. Benbrook police have already stated that the 29-year-old Ukrainian pianist is not a suspect in the deaths of 5-year-old Nika and 1-year-old Michela, and that they are holding the Russian-born Tsygankova at Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital subject to a mental evaluation. No other suspects are currently being sought. The couple married in 2010 and filed for divorce last November. Police had been called twice to the home in 2014, but Benbrook police wouldn’t say what occasioned those calls.
Kholodenko was scheduled to play with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra this weekend. The orchestra has already announced that Alessio Bax is stepping in. Van Cliburn Foundation spokeswoman Maggie Estes issued an official statement saying in part, “We are heartbroken and offer our prayers to Vadym and all affected by this overwhelming tragedy.” Meanwhile, FWSO issued its own statement: “Our Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, musicians, staff and board send deepest condolences and prayers to Vadym and his family as they grieve the unimaginable loss of these beloved children.”
UPDATE: Vadym Kholodenko has issued the following written statement: “Being in a great grief I would like to address this message to everyone who thinks about my family. The loss of my children will be with me forever. But I would like to say that I feel the support of the Fort Worth community and all people who are sending me messages all over the world. My special gratefulness is for the Castro family who supported my family and who gave special care to my daughters. I would like to ask everyone who is going to the concerts this weekend at Bass Hall to think of the music. Wherever I go after this tragedy my heart will stay with the people here of Fort Worth and my daughters will rest in this soil.”