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 Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi,
Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, and Seiji Ozawa, as well as
all the great orchestras of the world.
Mr. Kissin was born in Moscow in October 1971. He 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, Moscow's Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Anna Pavlovna Kantor,
who has been his only teacher. At the age of 10, 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 12, he performed Chopin's First and Second piano concertos in the Great Hall of the
Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic under Dmitri Kitaenko.
Mr. Kissin's first appearances outside Russia were in 1985 in Eastern Europe; his first
tour of Japan in 1986; and in December 1988, he performed with Herbert von Karajan and the
Berliner Philharmoniker in a New Year's concert that was broadcast internationally. In
1990, Mr. Kissin made his first appearance at the BBC Proms in London and, in the same
year, made his North American debut, performing both Chopin piano concertos with the New
York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. The following week, he opened Carnegie Hall's
centennial season with a spectacular debut recital, recorded live by BMG Classics.
Musical awards and tributes from around the world have been showered upon Mr. Kissin. He
received the Crystal Prize of Osaka Symphony Hall for the best performance of the year in
1986 (his first performance in Japan). In 1991, he received the Musician of the Year prize
from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He was a special guest at the 1992
Grammy Awards ceremony, broadcast live to an audience estimated at more than one billion,
and three years later became Musical America's youngest Instrumentalist of
the Year. In 1997, he received the prestigious Triumph Award for his outstanding
contribution to Russia's culture-one of the highest cultural honors to be awarded in the
Russian Republic-becoming the youngest-ever awardee. Mr. Kissin has received an honorary
doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music; the Shostakovich Award, one of Russia's
highest musical honors; an honorary membership to London's Royal Academy of Music; and most
recently an honorary doctorate from the University of Hong Kong.
Mr. Kissin's recordings have also received numerous awards and accolades, including the
Edison Klassiek in the Netherlands, Grammy Awards, and the Diapason d'Or and Grand Prix de
la Nouvelle Academie du Disque in France.
Mr. Kissin's extraordinary talent inspired Christopher Nupen's documentary film Evgeny
Kissin: Gift of Music, which was released in 2000 on video and DVD by RCA Red