Evgeny Kissin was born in Moscow in 1971. He began to play by ear and improvise on the piano at age two. At age six, he entered the Moscow Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who has been his only teacher. At ten he made his concerto debut, followed by his first solo recital in Moscow one year later. He came to international attention in 1984 when, at the age of twelve, he performed in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic. The concert was recorded live by Melodia, and a two-LP album was released the following year. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1994.
This season, Mr. Kissin gives solo recitals in Vancouver and San Francisco before embarking on an extensive tour of Asia that includes recitals in Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Yokohama, Tokyo, and Osaka. He tours Japan with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and makes appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, and Berlin Philharmonic, among others. He also partners with Itzhak Perlman for duo recitals in Boston, New York, Washington DC, and Chicago.
Mr. Kissin’s newest recording, of Beethoven sonatas, was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2017. His previous recordings have received numerous awards and accolades including the Edison Klassiek in The Netherlands, and the Diapason d’Or and the Grand Prix of La Nouvelle Academie du Disque in France. In 2002, he was named ECHO Klassik Soloist of the Year. He was awarded Grammys for Best Instrumental Soloist for his recordings of works by Scriabin, Medtner, and Stravinsky (RCA Red Seal) and Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy (EMI Classics). Mr. Kissin inspired Christopher Nupen’s documentary film, Evgeny Kissin: The Gift of Music, which was released in 2000 on video and DVD by RCA Red Seal.
Mr. Kissin received the Musician of the Year Prize from the Chigiana Academy of Music in Siena, Italy in 1991 and became Musical America’s youngest Instrumentalist of the Year in 1995. In 1997 he received the Triumph Award for his outstanding contribution to Russia’s culture. Mr. Kissin has also been awarded honorary degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Royal Academy of Music in London, and Hong Kong University.