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Renowned Concert Pianist's Children, Ages 5 and 1, Slain in Their Beds, Wife Stabbed


Renowned Concert Pianist's Children, Ages 5 and 1, Slain in Their Beds, Wife Stabbed Concert pianist Vadym Kholodenko seen here with daughter Nika, 5, rehearsing for a concert at the Kimbell Art Museum. (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra)

An internationally known concert pianist found his children dead in their beds when he arrived at the home of his estranged wife, who had several stab wounds, police said Friday.

Vadym Kholodenko, 29, had arrived at the Benbrook, Texas, house to collect daughters Nika 5, and one-year-old Michela on Thursday morning, police Cmdr. David Babcock said at a press conference. His wife, Sofya Tsygankova, was in an "extreme state of distress" and had several stab wounds, Babcock said.

Kholodenko, Tsygankova and their youngest daughter, Michela

 

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The 31-year-old Russian-born woman was taken to a local hospital, where she is recovering, and will be held for a mental health evaluation, Babcock said. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

Babcock declined to say whether a knife had been recovered in the home or whether the mother was considered a suspect. 

"We are still looking at all avenues," he told reporters. Kholodenko is not currently a suspect and is cooperating with authorities, Babcock said.

Kholodenko phoned 911 after finding the bodies of his daughters. He was scheduled to play this weekend with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, but has cancelled his performance. Another pianist was being flown in to take his place.

The children had no visible injuries, police said. Autopsies will be conducted on both girls. The eldest had previously appeared onstage with her father as a page-turner.

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Kholodenko, who is Ukrainian, and his wife, who is Russian, moved from Moscow to the U.S. after he won the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013.

They married in 2010 and filed for divorce in 2015. Babcock said officers had been called to the Fort Worth-area house twice in 2014 but would not describe the nature of their visits.

Kholodenko routinely picked up his kids about 9:20 a.m., police said.

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