Evgeny Kissin

Piano

Biography

Evgeny Kissin’s musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have earned him the veneration and admiration deserved only by one of the most gifted classical pianists of his generation and, arguably, generations past. He is in demand the world over, and has appeared with many of the world’s great conductors, including Abbado, Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Dohnanyi, Giulini, Karajan, Levine, Maazel, Muti and Ozawa, as well as all the great orchestras of the world.

Mr. Kissin was born in Moscow in October 1971 and began to play by ear and improvise on the piano at the age of two.  At six years old, he entered a special school for gifted children, the Moscow Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who has been his only teacher. At the age of ten, he made his concerto debut playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 and gave his first solo recital in Moscow one year later.  He came to international attention in March 1984 when, at the age of twelve, he performed Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1 and 2 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic under Dmitri Kitaenko. This concert was recorded live by Melodia, and a two-LP album was released the following year. Given the astounding success of this recording, Melodia proceeded to release five more LPs of live performances in Moscow over the following two years.

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Reviews

“When we speak of virtuosity, we generally mean technical ability. It takes a different kind of virtuosity to play four musical pieces and declaim 13 poems in Yiddish … entirely from memory, all with equal mastery. I wish that Kissin were creating a new world of possibilities for all star performers, but I’m not sure anyone else has the virtuosity to step this far outside the box with such honesty and dignity and power.”

The Washington Post

“Without question he is a phenomenal pianist, a deeply intuitive and sensitive musician”

The New York Times

More Reviews

“Mr. Kissin has been playing Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto since his teens. Yet the hallmark of this performance was the searching curiosity he conveyed throughout… Not surprisingly, this consummate virtuoso effortlessly dispatched the difficulties of the piece — the arm-blurring bursts of octaves, spiraling flights of finger-twisting passagework and more.”

The New York Times 

“The capacity crowd leapt to its feet at the end, roaring its appreciation, clearly hoping to hear another marathon of encores… ”

The Chicago Tribune