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 No. 20 in D Minor, 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. 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.
Mr. Kissin's first appearances outside Russia were in Eastern Europe in 1985, followed by
his first tour to Japan in 1986, and a New Year's performance in December 1988 with Herbert
von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker 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.
In 2015-2016, Mr. Kissin opens Carnegie Hall's 125th anniversary season with the New York
Philharmonic, and also appears with the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras and The MET
Orchestra. In addition, he is the focus of a Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, performing
two recitals in one week--the first pianist to do so at Carnegie Hall since Vladimir
Horowitz--a chamber music program, and a Jewish music and poetry recital. Further US
recitals take place in Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, DC.
Musical awards and accolades from around the world have been generously bestowed upon Mr.
Kissin, including the Shostakovich Award (one of Russia's highest musical honors). In 1997,
he became the youngest-ever recipient of the prestigious Triumph Award for his outstanding
contribution to Russia's culture. He was special guest at the 1992 Grammy Awards ceremony,
broadcast live to an audience estimated to be larger than one billion, and three years
later became Musical America's youngest-ever Instrumentalist of the Year. He is also an
honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and has received honorary
doctorates from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Hong Kong, the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem, and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba.
Mr. Kissin's recording of works by Scriabin, Medtner, and Stravinsky (RCA Red Seal) won
him a Grammy Award in 2006, and he won another Grammy in 2010 for his recording of
Prokofiev's Second and Third piano concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by
Vladimir Ashkenazy (EMI Classics).
Mr. Kissin's extraordinary talent inspired Christopher Nupen's documentary film Evgeny
Kissin: The Gift of Music, released in 2000 on video and DVD by RCA Red Seal.