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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Evgeny Kissin, Piano

Sunday, May 20, 2018 2 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Evgeny Kissin by Chris Lee
A poet at heart and a virtuoso of the highest order, Evgeny Kissin is one of the most magnificent pianists of any generation. A master in the grand Russian tradition, The New York Times has lauded his “blend of technical mastery and eloquent artistry” while The Telegraph has praised the “lovely limpid clarity” of his playing. Once a prodigy, now a living legend, Kissin’s recitals cannot be missed.

Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos I

Limited stage seating now available. Please note that if you purchase stage seating, please arrive one hour before concert time. There will be no late seating.


Evgeny Kissin, Piano


BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, "Hammerklavier"
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in F-sharp Minor, Op. 23, No. 1
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in B-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 2
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in D Minor, Op. 23, No. 3
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in D Major, Op. 23, No. 4
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 6
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in C Minor, Op. 23, No. 7
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in B Minor, Op. 32, No. 10
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 32, No. 13

SCRIABIN Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
KISSIN Toccata
RACHMANINOFF Prelude in C-sharp Minor from Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3, No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.

Sponsored by Mastercard, the Official Card of Carnegie Hall

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”

This monumental—and notoriously difficult—sonata marked a watershed in Beethoven’s artistic development. With its soaring rhetoric and penetrating introspection, the “Hammerklavier” anticipates the musical language of the composer’s so-called late period. The centerpiece of the work is an intensely ruminative Adagio sostenuto, which German critic Paul Bekker famously called “the apotheosis of pain, of that deep sorrow for which there is no remedy, and which finds expression not in passionate outpourings, but in the immeasurable stillness of utter woe.”



Capitalizing on the phenomenal popularity of the Prelude in C-sharp Minor he wrote shortly after graduating from the Moscow Conservatory, Rachmaninoff went on to compose 23 additional preludes between 1901 and 1910. (Not coincidentally, the total of 24 equaled the number of preludes in his beloved Chopin’s Op. 28.) Like Rachmaninoff’s Second and Third piano concertos, which date from the same decade, the 10 short preludes we hear on this afternoon’s program display the composer-pianist’s trademark blend of Russian-flavored lyricism and transcendent virtuosity.


Evgeny Kissin

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 legendary orchestras and conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, ErnÅ‘ Dohnányi, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, and Seiji Ozawa.

Mr. Kissin was born in Moscow in October 1971 and began to play piano by ear 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. At the age of 10, Mr. Kissin 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 Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitri Kitayenko.

In 1990, Mr. Kissin 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.

During the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Kissin gives solo recitals in New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Washington, DC, in addition to his numerous European recitals and orchestral appearances. Mr. Kissin also toured Europe and North America with the Emerson String Quartet, with performances in Baden-Baden, Paris, Munich, Essen, Vienna, Amsterdam, Chicago, and Boston.

Musical awards and accolades from around the world have been generously bestowed upon Mr. Kissin over the years. 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. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, the Shostakovich Award (one of Russia’s highest musical honors), and an honorary membership into the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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