Filed Under:

Ukrainian Wins Top Prize At Van Cliburn Piano Competition

Winners of 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced Sunday night in Fort Worth, Texas. The competition was held over 17 days.

Vadym Kholodenko, 26, of Ukraine, won the top prize of $50,000, but he said the rankings don't mean that much.

"It's kind of fun for audience — for press. It's interesting to put first, second, 10th and so on. But in life, not so important," Kholodenko says.

He adds so much of life involves competing no matter what you're doing.

Cliburn usually presented awards to the winners but in February he died at age 78 after suffering from bone cancer.

Kholodenko and the other two winners said the competition was hard. Famed composer Bela Bartok once said sarcastically competitions are for horses.

But silver medalist Beatrice Rana, 20, of Italy, doesn't feel like a horse.

"Competitions are one of the main ways for us to have a concert pianist career. Competitions can be really for everybody and accessible to everybody. I don't compete very often, but I'm glad that this year we have the opportunity to really play many times after the winning of the Clyburn," Rana says.

She's referring to what many winners consider the real Cliburn prize: three years of management and concert bookings. And winning also usually means no more competitions.

That's something that third place Sean Chen, 24, of Oak Park, Calif., was also happy about.

"This experience has been really awesome but kind of the most stressful thing I've ever done in my life. You know, it's just the nature of the beast. I would be happy to not have to go through it again," Chen says.

But now the pressure of life and career begins.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


From 'Unproud' To 'Hombre,' Election 2016 Is Testing Our Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster noticed the number of unique words coming out of this campaign, and has been using Twitter to report the most searchable words. Lexicographer Peter Sokolowski talks to Rachel Martin.

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain

Bakers Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam are reviving election cake: a boozy, dense fruitcake that was a way for women to participate in the democratic process before they had the right to vote.

Republican And Trump Critic Ana Navarro Speaks On Election

Ana Navarro has become a standard bearer for Republican women repudiating Donald Trump. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with the GOP strategist about her view of the election, which is only 16 days away.

The Next Generation Of Local, Low-Power FM Stations Expands In Urban Areas

The next wave of low power FM stations is coming on the air. Initially restricted to rural areas because of interference concerns, nearly 2,000 new stations have been approved — many in urban areas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.