UPDATED: 03/17/2016, 10:50 PMBy Andrea Lucia


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BENBROOK (CBSDFW.COM) – A world renowned concert pianist is now at the center of a murder mystery in Benbrook.

Ukrainian pianist, and winner of the gold medal at the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Vadym Kholodenko’s two young daughters, Nika, 5, and Michaela, 1, were found dead in their home. Their mother was stabbed, but survived.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner said both girls were found in their beds. Their cause of deaths remains unknown. Benbrook police said they weren’t stabbed like their mother who suffered multiple wounds.

Officers responded to a 911 call at 9:30 Thursday morning to a home on Waterwood Trail, just off I-20.

Police said that Kholodenko was at the home when authorities arrived, but was not there when the attacks took place. He was scheduled to play with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Hall starting Friday night.

In an interview posted to Kholodenko’s website, he spoke of traveling. “My main problem is I don’t see my family as much as I want to,” he told an interviewer.

Neighbor Terri Messer shares a duplex with the Kholodenkos and initially panicked when she came home to find the house wrapped in crime scene tape. “Police told me that I had nothing to be afraid of, that my family was safe, and that everyone was out of danger, so I don’t know what to think,” she said.

She said Kholodenko’s Russian wife was a stay at home mom. “She spoke Russian to the children a lot,” she recalled. “She always played classical music in the car.”

Messer is stunned to learn of the children’s deaths.

Police said it’s too early to name a suspect during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Van Cliburn Foundation confirmed Vadym Kholodenko’s scheduled performances at Bass Hall for the next three days were canceled.

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