Evgenj Kissin © Felix Broede/EMI
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Beethoven | Rachmaninoff
Thu, 23.11. | 19.30 | No. 17507
Evgenj Kissin © Felix Broede/EMI
Both of them were celebrated pianists. The young Ludwig van Beethoven was admired in his new chosen home city of Vienna as a keyboard virtuoso at first, before he found recognition as a composer. His racing tempi and the effortlessness with which he mastered the most technically intricate passages took his audience’s breath away. Sergei Rachmaninoff meanwhile was one of the first international stars in classical music, cheered in Europe as well as in America. Beethoven was, incidentally, also part of his repertoire, for example the First Piano Concerto, which he performed in 1939 at the Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern, now known as LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Piano works by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff together in one in recital: that’s not something one gets a chance to hear every day. Evgeny Kissin makes it happen: “Of course you cannot compare the genius of Rachmaninoff with the genius of Beethoven, but he has long since stopped being a salon composer,” explains Kissin. After a four-year hiatus, the Russian piano master returns to Lucerne – and with his performance will refute all such prejudices.
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Evgenj Kissin © Sasha Gusov
Evgeny Kissin was born in 1971 in Moscow; his father was an engineer and his mother a pianist. At the age of two, he began to play pieces on the piano by ear. His training started in 1977 at the Gnessin Music Academy in his native city; Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who was already giving him lessons at the time, remained his only teacher. Kissin’s extraordinary talent became apparent at an early age. He was only ten when he made his debut as a soloist in a symphony concert, and he gave his first solo recital the following year. In 1988 Kissin was invited to audition for Herbert von Karajan, who on the spur of the moment engaged him for the Berlin Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve Concert. In 1990 Kissin finally made his debut in the United States with the piano concertos of Chopin, which he performed with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. Since then Kissin, who has been a British citizen since 2002 and an Israeli citizen since 2013, has worked with all the leading orchestras and conductors. Along with these appearances and solo recitals, he also gives chamber concerts, as for example in the current season with the Emerson and Kopelman Quartets. Since 2002 Kissin has additionally performed as a reciter of Jewish and Russian poetry. His discography has garnered such distinctions as the Diapason d’Or, the Grand Prix du Disque, and the Edison Prize; his recording of Prokofiev’s Concertos No. 2 and 3 won both, a Grammy Award (2009) and an Echo Klassik Award (2010). His most recent release, which appeared in September 2017, is an album of Beethoven sonatas. Evgeny Kissin holds honorary doctorates from the Manhattan School of Music and from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (2005), and has won the Shostakovich Prize (2003), the Karajan Prize (2005), and the Premio Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (2007).
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 30 August 1993 in the First Piano Concerto of Sergei Prokofiev, with Claudio Abbado conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.
18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium | Introduction to the Concert with Susanne Stähr (in German)