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Evgeny Kissin

(1971 - )

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Evgeny Igorevitch Kissin is a Russian Jewish classical pianist.

As child prodigy, Kissin rose to fame at an early age. He is recognized for his interpretations of the Romantic repertoire work, such as those of Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Franz Liszt.

He was born to a Jewish family in Moscow and started studying piano at age six. Anna Kantor was his only piano teacher.

In 2002, Kissin became a British citizen and in 2013, Israel granted him citizenship. "I am with you, State of Israel, I am with you, my people," he said upon receiving his citizenship in Jerusalem. Though Kissin is not permanently based in Israel and travels frequently for performances, he is an activist who fights attacks on Israel's legitimacy. "Now I can tell the whole world not only I am a Jew, but also I am an Israeli," he said.

In 2010, he received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University.

Sources: Wikipedia, JTA (December 8, 2013).

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