NEW YORK – Grammy award-winning pianist Evgeny Kissin, a new Israeli citizen as of late last year, will be the featured musical performer at a star-studded event when former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is honored at the inaugural Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem this May.
"Like Mayor Bloomberg, Evgeny Kissin is an exceptional individual whose values and achievements will inspire the next generation of Jews," said Stan Polovets, Chairman of the Board of the Genesis Prize Foundation. "We are thrilled to have him join us for this momentous occasion."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present Michael Bloomberg with the award, which is endowed by Genesis Philanthropy Group and awarded annually in partnership with the prime minister's office and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel and Chairman of the Selection Committee of the Genesis Prize, added, "I am confident that the combination of Mayor Bloomberg's leadership and philanthropy, Evgeny's unabashed Jewishness and proud identification with Israel, and the Prime Minister's honored presence will make this a festive and historic celebration of Jewish identity and values here in Jerusalem."
Added Kissin, "The opportunity to perform in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish State and the spiritual center of our people, as part of a commemoration honoring a global commitment to Jewish values will help realize my dream of ensuring that future Jewish generations enjoy the same, inspiring connection to their Jewish roots and culture as I have been exceedingly fortunate to enjoy. I am excited to come to Israel to be a part of this important initiative."
The evening will highlight Kissin and feature Israel's beloved national singer Rita, the outstanding Tararam dance group, iconic actress and comedian Hanah Laszlo and the acclaimed Raanana Symphonette Orchestra.
Evgeny Kissin is in the midst of a successful U.S. tour with performances in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Kissin, 42, was born in Moscow to a Russian Jewish family, and became an Israeli citizen in December 2013. Kissin is also known for his Yiddish and Russian poetry readings, with which he thrilled a Kennedy Center audience in Washington, D.C., last month.