Pianist Evgeny Kissin is in demand the world over, and has appeared with many legendary orchestras and conductors including Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Chistoph von Dohnanyi, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, and Seiji Ozawa.
Kissin was born in Moscow in October 1971 and began to play piano by ear at age two. At age six, he entered a special school for gifted children, the Moscow Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Anna Pavlovna Kantor. 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 12, he performed Chopin’s First and Second piano concertos in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic conducted by Dmitri Kitaenko.
In 1990 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.
Musical awards and accolades from around the world have been generously bestowed upon Evgeny Kissin over the years. He was special guest at the 1992 Grammy Awards Ceremony, broadcast live to an audience estimated at over one billion, and three years later became Musical America’s youngest Instrumentalist of the Year. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Manhattan School of Music, the Shostakovich Award (one of Russia’s highest musical honors), and an honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.