Kissin reaches new peaks …The second concerto, with its jagged rhythms and spiky brilliance, can easily become a showcase for empty virtuosity but Kissin found in it beauty, poetry and hidden depths. …The fluency of his passagework was as breathtaking as ever. …The Philharmonia under Vladimir Ashkenazy was on top form, matching Kissin in tenacity, agility and dynamism.”
London’s Evening Standard
For his third EMI Classics release, Evgeny Kissin has turned to repertoire from his native Russia, Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3. The performances were recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in January 2008 with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. This is Kissin’s first recording of Prokofiev’s Concerto No 2.
Evgeny Kissin made his concerto debut in Russia at the age of ten and caused an international sensation three years later with the release of his recording of Chopin’s 2 Piano Concertos. Kissin proceeded to record the major concerto repertoire whilst still in his teenage years.
The collaboration between Evgeny Kissin and Vladimir Ashkenazy is an inspired choice. In addition to his renown as a conductor, Russian-born Vladimir Ashkenazy is one of the finest pianists of his generation and a champion of the Russian piano repertoire. He has performed all five of Prokofiev’s piano concertos on many occasions. In 2000, he was named Conductor Laureate of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Evgeny Kissin was born in Moscow in 1971. He could play the piano by ear and improvise from the time he was two. At the age of six, he entered Moscow’s Gnessin School of Music for gifted children, where he studied with Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who has remained his only teacher. In 1982, aged ten, he made his concerto debut in Mozart’s Piano Concerto K466 and, a year later, his solo recital debut.
Already at the age of 12, Kissin’s technique was remarkably accomplished and his emotional response to the music was also startlingly mature. He performed outside Russia for the first time in 1985 and made his first tour of Japan the following year. 1990 saw Kissin’s Proms debut and his North American debut with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta. His Carnegie Hall recital debut opened the Hall’s centennial season a week later.
Evgeny Kissin’s diary for 2009 features an extensive European/American/Asian recital tour, in which Kissin performs works by Prokofiev and Chopin in 25 major cities in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, China and South Korea.