Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos I
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, Ernő 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.