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 http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Say Anything,' Still Full Of Guileless Affection

Monday marks the 25th anniversary of Cameron Crowe's Say Anything. A look back at the seminal teen flick reveals a surprisingly deep and romantic story.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Josh Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

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