Evgeny Kissin: Wiki, Music Career & Achievements
Yevgeny is his given name; he was born on October 9, 1971, in Moscow, USSR. His education began in 1976 at Gnessen School. She started playing the piano when she was two years old; had her first performance in Moscow in 1982; recorded and published two Chopin piano concertos around 1988; signed with RCA Records (Red Seal). Since 1984, he has traveled all over the world.
Evgeny Kissin has been a musical prodigy since he started playing the piano at the age of two. His mother, a pianist, never trained him, instead sending him to Moscow's Gnessen School for Musically Gifted Children, where he remained until 1991. Kissin has only had one piano instructor, Anna Pavlovna Kantor, and she has never competed in a performance. Kissin's sophisticated interpretations and specialized talents have improved as a result of his rigorous training, but his personality and individuality have not. Kissin told Time about his own musical philosophy: "True art, on the other hand, gives rise to good rather than evil. Right now, we're in the midst of a really tumultuous period. The aim of musicians is to ensure that our art, which is compassionate, gentle, and universal, triumphs over all other forms of evil. "
Without the luxury of an American premiere, Kissin was already a worldwide icon by the age of 10. Conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov brought New York Times music critic Harold C. Schoenberg to hear Kissin perform. Schoenberg reflected on the fact that "the kid had it all—fingers, tone, and an amazing capacity to discern when to change the tempo, how to emphasize an inner voice, and how to accentuate a phrase in the most delicate and beautiful manner possible. All of this happens around 12 a.m. " Kissin was invited by Herbert von Karajan, a conductor and talent scout, to perform the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1988. Kissin received offers from record labels as a result of his popularity.
Kissin was a "Romantic pianist in the ancient Russian style," according to Schoenberg. Kissin's approach, according to some reviewers, remains unspoiled since he avoids conventional performance contests. Kissin was exceptional, according to Peter G. Davis, a New York music writer, since he "never had to complete." In general, the competitive piano school expects all of its pupils to have a firm, even, and consistent technique. Kissin's approach differs from those of his more controlled colleagues. Romanticism is an emotive type of music that, according to Schoenberg, "looks back to a time when the great Slavic Romantic pianists represented a regulated sonority, a singing line, power without pounding, tempo modulation, and poetry."
On September 20, 1990, Kissin made his long-awaited debut in the United States with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, receiving a standing ovation from the sold-out audience. He gave a Carnegie Hall performance a few days later. The New York Times' Donal Henahan witnessed Kissin's debut and said, "It's not often that a young pianist with Mr. Kissin's technical abilities avoids the temptation to create an emotional thrill just by playing fast and loud.... He took an embroidered run so gently at moments that the piano appeared to be whispering Chopin's ideas to itself, reminding listeners that this is how the artist actually played his work, according to contemporaneous accounts. " Reviews of these performances were dominated by comments on Kissin's controlled power. Kissin could "convey the aggressive energy of Prokofiev's warlike Sonata No. 6 quite forcefully and yet moderate the assault with such emotional immediacy," according to Peter G. Davis of New York.
Kissin's performance of Schumann's Symphonic Etudes at the Carnegie Hall concert was praised by critic Michael Walsh, who said that the Russian played "the sequence of difficult variations as if he were creating the piece as he went along." In an Entertainment Weekly review of Kissin's CD Yevgeny Kissin in Tokyo, which featured pieces by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Liszt, Chopin, and Scriabin, Walsh concluded, "the point is simply that... Kissin performs with the passion of a young man and the taste of an old one."
Kissin spends his free time after more than thirty performances a year listening to Scott Joplin rags and reading Russian writers Pushkin and Tolstoy's writings. Kissin has a humble demeanor and is often characterized as timid and anxious. He minimized his musical skills by expressing his apprehension about approaching the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer. Kissin said in an interview with Newsweek's Abigail Kuflik that "Perhaps it was simpler for me to perform love music, music from the heart, when I was younger. It's more enjoyable to perform Beethoven's music with your thoughts as well. Perhaps this is why I had to grow old. " It seems likely that the young Russian, equipped with a tenacious talent grounded in sound philosophy, will emerge from prodigy unscathed and progress to adult brilliance.
Kissin was born into a Russian Jewish family in Moscow. At the age of six, he was recognized as a child prodigy and started piano training at Moscow's Gnessin State Musical College. He became a pupil of Anna Kantor, Kissin's sole piano instructor, at the school.
Kissin made his debut with the Ulyanovsk Symphony Orchestra at the age of 10, playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor. He performed his debut recital in Moscow the following year.
Kissin's abilities were first recognized on the world stage in 1984, when he was twelve years old, when he performed and recorded both of Chopin's piano concertos with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in the Moscow Conservatoire's Great Hall. Kissin's first performances outside of Russia were in Eastern Europe in 1985, followed by a tour of Japan a year later. At the age of 16, he made his West European debut at the Berlin Festival and his United Kingdom debut at the Lichfield Festival, with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinists Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin. In 1988, he toured Europe with Vladimir Spivakov's Moscow Virtuosi and made his London debut with Valery Gergiev's London Symphony Orchestra.
He performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Herbert von Karajan at the Berlin Philharmonic's New Year's Eve Concert, which was televised worldwide, and he reprised the performance the following year at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In September 1990, Kissin made his North American debut with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, performing Chopin's two piano concertos and the inaugural piano recital of Carnegie Hall's centennial season. In 1997, he performed the first solo piano performance at The Proms in London's history.
Kissin performs recitals across Europe, America, and Asia on a regular basis. Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Carlo Maria Giulini, Mariss Jansons, Herbert von Karajan, Dmitri Kitaenko, Jan Latham-Koenig, James Levine, Sir Andrew Davis, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Sir S Kissin has also collaborated with Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, James Levine, Mischa Maisky, Thomas Quasthoff, Isaac Stern, Yuri Bashmet, and others on chamber music projects.
Kissin has received many musical prizes and tributes from all around the globe. In 1987, he was awarded the Osaka Symphony Hall's Crystal Prize for the finest performance of the year in 1986. (his first performance in Japan). In 1991, the Chigiana Academy of Music in Siena, Italy, awarded him the Musician of the Year Prize. In 1992, he was a special guest at the Grammy Awards Ceremony, which was aired live to an estimated audience of over one billion people, and in 1995, he was named Musical America's youngest Instrumentalist of the Year. In 1997, he was the youngest-ever recipient of the renowned Triumph Award for his exceptional contribution to Russian culture, one of the highest cultural awards bestowed in the Russian Republic.
He was the first pianist to be asked to deliver a recital at the BBC Proms (in 1997), and the first concerto soloist to be invited to perform at the Proms opening performance (in 2000). Kissin received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in May 2001. He won the Shostakovich Award, one of Russia's top musical awards, in December 2003 in Moscow. He was given Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London in June 2005. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Hong Kong University in March 2009. Changes in Kissin's playing have been noted in recent evaluations. His early reputation as a full-throttle virtuoso still holds, but the pianist, now in his forties, has prompted contemporary reviewers to remark on characteristics of contemplation and harshness, even to the point of accusations of monochromaticism with no sense of a larger musical picture.