Evgenyi Kissin
Photo: EMI Classics

On Saturday Russian born Pianist Evgeny Kissin, 42, received his Israeli passport and identification card from the Minister for Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver. As the ‘Jerusalem Post’ reports, Kissin approached Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky a year ago to ask for his help in becoming an Israeli. Kissin was granted the citizenship despite the fact that he is living mainly in France and England. The ministry however recognized the fact that the pianist defends Israel at every opportunity. In the letter that he wrote to Sharansky a year ago, Kissin stated: “I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state – and since long ago I have felt that Israel, although I do not live there, is the only state in the world with which I can fully identify myself, whose case, problems, tragedies and very destiny I perceive to be mine. If I, as a human being and artist represent anything in the world, it is my Jewish people, and therefore Israel is the only state on our planet which I want to represent with my art and all my public activities, no matter where I live.”

Kissin will give a benefit concert in Jerusalem on Monday night for the Tel Hai International Master Classes.

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