Evgeny Kissin


An exceptional talent: Evgeny Kissin began playing pieces on the piano by ear and improvising at the age of two. At the age of ten, he made his concert debut with Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 – and just one year later he gave his first solo recital. In 1988, Herbert von Karajan invited the pianist to play for him. The 17-year-old Kissin so impressed Karajan that the then chief conductor engaged him on the spot for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s New Year’s Eve Concert and its repeat at the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who was to remain his only piano teacher, had a formative influence on Kissin’s education at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. He first attracted international attention with his performance of the two Chopin piano concertos at the side of Dmitri Kitajenko at the Moscow conservatory in March 1984. The recording of the concert was released shortly after as double LP. In 1985, he gave his first performances in other European countries, followed by a tour of Japan. In 1987, he distinguished himself at the Berliner Festwochen with his technical perfection and sophisticated playing, which combines intensity and sensitivity. His US debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta in the autumn of 1990 was followed a few days later by a triumphant piano recital at Carnegie Hall. Kissin returned to the Berliner Philharmoniker the following year – this time at the side of Claudio Abbado. To this day, the orchestra holds him in high regard as an outstanding artistic partner and one of the greatest in his field.




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