Evgeny Kissin was born in Moscow in 1971 and began to play by ear and improvise on the piano at the age of two. Aged six, he entered a special school for gifted children, the Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Anna Pavlovna Kantor. He made his concert debut playing Mozart's Piano Concerto K.466 as a ten-year-old, and gave his first solo recital one year later. Kissin first performed outside Russia in 1985, and from then he has been showered with awards from around the world, including the Crystal Prize of the Osaka Symphony Hall for his first performance in Japan in 1987, the Musician of the Year Prize from the Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy in 1991, and Musical America's youngest Instrumentalist of the Year in 1995. He was the first pianist to be invited to give a recital at the BBC Proms, and the first concerto soloist ever to be invited to play in the Proms opening concert. He has been a British citizen since 2002, and an Israeli citizen since 2013.