Evgeny Kissin and the Yiddish Word

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A recital by Evgeny Kissin is an unmissable event in my calendar. We have covered every one of his performances presented by Washington Performing Arts Society, generally every other year, last in 2013 and going back to 2007 and 2005. Nothing prepared me, however, for the sensation offered by his latest performance, a concert of solo piano music by Jewish composers, presented by the series Pro Musica Hebraica and the Kennedy Center in the Concert Hall on Monday night. In a noble and out-sized gesture, Kissin took public note of his recent embrace of Israeli citizenship by having this program be his first concert in the United States since that decision became official. In between performances of this mostly obscure music, Kissin made the unprecedented choice of reciting some of his favorite Yiddish poetry.

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