The Korea Herald


Ticket sales start for Kissin’s 2014 concert

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 13, 2013 - 19:12

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Evgeny Kissin. (Credia) Evgeny Kissin. (Credia)
On April 8, 2006 at Seoul Arts Center, the classical music hall was alive with rapturous applause. More than 30 curtain calls were made, with the audience roaring as if they were cheering a rock star.

It was the first Seoul recital by child prodigy-turned-mega pianist Evgeny Kissin. The then 34-year-old Russian responded by turning up for each curtain call and giving more than 10 encore performances, extending the concert’s finishing time to near midnight.

The fervor was repeated in 2009, when 2,300 tickets to see him sold out in just five hours.

“It seems like there is a third act in Kissin’s performance ― the encore,” said Credia, the company organizing his concerts.

Kissin will return to Seoul Arts Center on March 30. Credia said it would start online ticket sales for paying members of Interpark and Credia on Thursday, with sales for the general public starting Friday. This time, the master pianist will present Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major; Scriabin’s Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor and “Four Sea Interludes” from “Peter Grimes.”

Music fans have been anticipating this moment. The naturalized Briton, who is considered one of the highest paid pianists of all time, has been a legend for more than three decades.

According to an urban myth, the pianist, whose nickname is Genya, started to play the piano at age 2, just by hearing his sister play the instrument. He started professional education at 6, entering the Gnessin State Musical College for Gifted Children, made a debut featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor with the Ulyanovsk Symphony Orchestra and became an international sensation at 12 when he played and recorded Chopin piano concertos with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since then, the Russian-Jewish musician has remained at the very top of the music scene. His interpretation of Romantic composers such as Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff have been hailed as the world’s best.

“Kissin is one of the very few pianists who has concentrated on music for decades and successfully maintained their position at the top of the field. It is because he is shy and doesn’t really care about anything other than music. He is known to practice the piano five to six hours every day even when his techniques and conditions are great. He is improving and evolving every day,” said Park Je-sung, a music critic.

“While he has every chance to flaunt his skill ― think about the grand and large-scale Russian pianism ― he sometimes takes the music too seriously and rather goes demur. But his interpretation of pieces is therefore very genuine and sincere, making people wonder what will become of the next part. He is very intelligent and academic, well-controlled of himself,” Park said.

The Seoul concert will indeed portray the very different sides of Kissin’s musical world, Park explained. While his Schubert will be as sensitive and romantic as it could be, the works of Scriabin, regarded avant-garde and immensely powerful, will be able to show his darker but sophisticated side.

“Let’s say that his previous concerts were to be more familiar with the Korean public. This time, he will really show what ‘Kissin style’ is,” Park added.

For more information about the concert, call 1544-1555 or (02) 580-1300.

By Bae Ji-sook (