Famed Pianist’s Estranged Wife Charged in Murder of Their Two Young Daughters

Kholodenko and family - AP
AP File Photo

Famed award-winning concert pianist, Vadym Kholodenko, found his daughters dead in their mother’s home in Texas. The girls, ages one and five, had no visible trauma but he found his estranged wife in a “distraught” state with multiple stab wounds. She has been charged with murder.

Kholodenko filed for divorce from 31-year-old Sofia Tsygankova in November, reported The Daily Mail. The couple has been living apart since August 2015 and Tsygankova was living in Benbrook, Texas. When he filed for divorce, he cited discord or conflict of personalities, standard language in Texas divorce proceedings.

Tsygankova is facing two counts of first-degree murder. She has not yet had a mental health evaluation but will be transported to the jail in Tarrant County once she has one.

She had surgery for her wounds but the publication reported that the girls were not stabbed.

The Daily Mail reported that Benbrook Police Commander David Badcock said that police had served an arrest warrant on Tsygankova. He did not tell reporters the manner in which the little girls had died, saying only that an investigation for murder was ongoing.

During the press conference, Badcock did reveal that law enforcement authorities had been called out to the house once last year and two times in 2014.

Law enforcement officials do not suspect Kholodenko of criminal wrongdoing and there are no other suspects.

Kholodenko issued a statement through The Cliburn. The organization advances classical piano music throughout the world. The Cliburn hosts the world-famous Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Kholodenko said he wanted to thank Texans and everyone who were “sending me messages all over the world.” He said he could “feel the support of the Fort Worth community.” He said, “The loss of my children will be with me forever.” “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,” he said.

The couple, married for five years, had lived in Moscow but they moved to Texas after he began to be harassed by Russian authorities. Khodolenko is a Ukranian citizen and war had begun in the Ukraine between Russian separatist forces and his government. He was born in 1986 in Kiev, the capital of the country.

The family moved to Fort Worth in 2014 because he had very good ties with the city’s symphony orchestra.

Khodolenko was on the schedule to perform over the weekend with the Fort Worth Orchestra but a replacement filled-in after the murders.

He began performing when he was just thirteen years of age at concerts in America, China, Hungary, and Croatia. He won the Van Cliburn competition in 2013.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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